Acts 16:11-15; John 15:26—16:4a
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. -- Acts 15:26-27.
A great portion of that Last Supper discourse of Jesus is devoted to talk of the Holy Spirit, and how that Spirit is going to pick up where Jesus left off, as the aspect of the divine presence that Jesus’ followers are going to experience most directly. And he uses a special name for the Holy Spirit—paraclete, which can be translated a numbers of ways: Helper, Comforter, Defender. The basic idea is that of a person called to your side to assist you in some way.
Acts 10:25-26.34-35.44-48; 1 John 4:7-10; John 15:9-17
As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another. John 15:9-17
John takes us to the heart of the Christian discipleship: Love for others as God has loved us. He interprets the meaning of Jesus’ death on the cross as his loving sacrifice of himself for us in obedience to God’s loving will and purpose, not only for himself but for the whole world.
Acts 16:1-10; John 15:18-21
Today’s readings include a prayer: “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy”. But that prayer is bracketed by the present reality of difficulty: a cry for help from troubled people (Acts 16) and a warning from our Lord that the world may not always be welcoming to those who follow him (John 15).
Today’s Psalm contains the familiar imagery of God tending His flock: “he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends.” The sheep bleat a joyful message: “serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song”; “The Lord is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness, to all generations.” But this entreaty for all the earth to share in this joy is not always well received, particularly by those not among the flock.
"Love one another as I love you"
The true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer. This holds true both for the individual and for society. A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through “com-passion” is a cruel and inhuman society... The Latin word con-solatio, “consolation”, expresses this beautifully. It suggests being with the other in his solitude, so that it ceases to be solitude. Furthermore, the capacity to accept suffering for the sake of goodness, truth and justice is an essential criterion of humanity, because if my own well-being and safety are ultimately more important than truth and justice, then the power of the stronger prevails, then violence and untruth reign supreme...
1 Cor 15:1-8; Ps 18; John 14:6-14
The Gospel reading features Philip’s final appearance in the Gospel account. It happens during the long account of the Last Supper which we find in John and where Jesus speaks at length to his disciples. They must have been in somewhat of a confused state, knowing that the enemies of Jesus were practically outside the door waiting to destroy him. There were still many parts of Jesus’ teaching that they did not understand.
Acts 15:1-6; John 15:1-8
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. … Remain in me, as I remain in you. … I am the vine, you are the branches.” (Jesus)
What a privilege to be a branch connected to Jesus, the True Vine. What a consolation to realize that this is because of the will of the Father, the Vine Grower. That gives me confidence that I can live my life unafraid. The Father is in charge and he has me right where he wants me.
Prayer to St. Joseph
Patron Saint of Workers,
We ask for your blessing upon all of our efforts.
May our work each day be a blessing
Which allows us to recognize the dignity of human labor.
May we see our work as an opportunity
To build up the Kingdom of God.
With you as our model and example,
May we be instruments of the love and peace
Which the gospel calls us to share
In every aspect of our lives.
Help us in our daily labor and encourage all those
Who seek meaningful work. Amen
Acts 14:5-18; John 14:21-26
The gospel reading today gives us chance to reflect on one of the fundamental mysteries of our Christian faith: the Trinity. All three of the divine persons are part of the reading from John’s gospel. The passage is an excerpt from the long and beautifully nuanced discourse Jesus gives to his disciples before his death. The passage in its entirety is a kind of “last will and testament” of Jesus to his closest friends and companions. It is Jesus’ way of continuing to let himself be known to the disciples and of helping them to look forward to the day when he would not be with them any longer in the flesh.
Acts 9:26-31; 1 John 3:18-24; John 15:1-8
Christ is the vine and this is the source of our nutrition and our health, and without him, we can really do nothing. So what must we do?
First, decide whether you are bearing no fruit at all. None. If that is really what you feel is happening to you, then you need to get help from someone, because spiritually you are dying. Remember that most of us do bear good fruit—it is just that we don’t remember that we do.
Second, with that settled, review what pruning is. It is a way to make things better, make a better plant, a better tree, a better orchard. If you cut tired old branches from your philodendron, the plant begins to thrive again, not wither. Pruning is done to encourage new growth and the overall health of the plant or tree.
In the spirit of communion, the members of General Coordination Council of Union of the Catholic Apostolate gathered for their first meeting after some months of their election. The meeting held at Casa La Salle of the Brothers of Christian Schools in Roma from 21st to 25th April 2018. The meeting of General Coordination Council was under the theme: "Communion and co-responsibility”.