GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 17TH MAY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 17TH MAY 2017
WEDNESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
FIRST READING: Acts 15:1-6
PSALM: Psalm 122:1-5
GOSPEL: John 15:1-8
THEME: NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
Advancement in information and communication technology has opened the flood gate for an “information explosion” in our world. On radios, televisions, computers, phones, etc, we receive information on various topics, including the Christian faith. Some of these pieces of information are helpful. Others are, without mincing words, false and dangerous teachings. In the process the faith of some people have been wrecked.
From the time of the first generation of Christians till now, the Church has been plagued with series of heresies. The end product of such false teachings is disagreement and subsequent wreckage of the Christian faith.
In our First Reading, we are told that some heretics infiltrated into the vibrant Christian community at Antioch and sought to cause havoc with a dangerous teaching – “Unless you have yourselves circumcised in the tradition of Moses you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1). Paul and Barnabas argued strenuously to quash this teaching. Finally, they headed towards the mother Church in Jerusalem to solicit an official stance from the leadership of the Church (apostles and elders) on this issue.
Like Paul and Barnabas, we ought to be wary of teachings that do not conform to the Christian faith. We should not easily import pseudo-Christian practices into the Church. The task of maintaining an undiluted Christian faith is for all. Our readings for today offer us two important steps for combating heresies.
The first step is to remain connected to Jesus, the Vine. He says in our Gospel text, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me” (Jn 15:4). This calls for a conscious and consistent intimate union with Jesus, nourished by prayer.
The second step, which Paul and Barnabas took, is to constantly seek clarification from the apostles and elders (i.e. the leadership of the Church) on matters of morals and faith. No matter how sublime a personal opinion or revelation may be on matters of morals and faith, it is always safe to submit it to the discernment of the leadership of the Church (the Magisterium).
Finally, let us open our eyes widely and be alert, for there are many wolves in sheep clothing out there seeking to devour God’s people. We must yield to nothing but the truth.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you are the Truth. As I strive to follow you, deliver my heart from error and keep me safe on the path of righteousness for the sake of your name. Amen.
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).