GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 18TH MAY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 18TH MAY 2017
THURSDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
FIRST READING: Acts 15:7-21
PSALM: Psalm 96: 1-3, 10
GOSPEL: John 15:9-11
THEME: THE GRACE OF GOD
“Grace is favour, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God…” (CCC 1996).
The First Reading sends us right into the heart of the first Christian Council – the Jerusalem Council. It was a gathering of the leadership of the Church to deliberate on whether non-Jews who had accepted the Gospel had to be circumcised in the tradition of Moses before they can be saved or they did not need to be circumcised. It must have been a very lively debate with submissions of various opinions and schools of thought. In fact the First Reading tells us that the debate went on for a long time. Then Peter, who had seen with his own eyes how a non-Jew by name Cornelius had received the Holy Spirit without any prior circumcision (cf. Acts 10), got up and addressed the Council fathers. In his submission, he hit the nail right on the head when he said, “But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are” (Act 15:11). It was a prophetic declaration by Peter that the Christian message is a Gospel of grace.
When we fall into a deep pit, God offers us a “ladder” to bring us out. It is purely a gift with no strings attached. All that we need to do is to take hold of this ladder and climb by faith.The ladder in question is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the effort we make in climbing is our response to this gift of grace.
In union with Christ, we are set free and our lives bear fruits in abundance. Yes, “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” (Jn 15:10).
When we consciously accept Jesus Christ into our lives, he knocks off the -dis- in disgrace and what we get is grace. This grace of God is the secret of victorious living here on earth.
PRAYER: May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us now and forever. 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).