Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders
about this question.
The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:
“The apostles and the elders, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and
who have dedicated their lives to
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’”
Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
R. (4) O God, let all the nations
praise you! May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation. R. O God, let all the nations
praise you! May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide. R. O God, let all the nations
praise you! May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him! R. O God, let all the nations
Rev 21:10-14, 22-23
The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,
with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
I saw no temple in the city
for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.
The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gave it light,
and its lamp was the Lamb.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.”
“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the
Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will
teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you .
One would think that the life and suffering and death of
Jesus would be enough for the Church he had founded. After
all, he re-opened the gates of heaven for us, re-established
a connection between us and the Father, through that gift of
eternal life. Indeed, Jesus did his part in our plan of
eternal salvation. But there is a part that we have to do,
and that is where a whole lot of problems arise. And perhaps
Jesus knew that very well and decided to ask his Father,
once he had finished his part, to send the Holy Spirit to
continue the work of our salvation. Well, more so to
continue to remind us what WE needed to do to achieve our
salvation. He could have said, “Well, I did my part, the
rest is up to you apostles and disciples and those whom you
bring into the fold. You continue my Church and make it
thrive and bring people in. You certainly have the knowledge
that I gave you. My love remains forever. Now go out and
baptize and preach and teach what I have taught you.”
Do we think anyone on drugs will buy that line when thinking
about his or her next fix? Do we think those who are alcoholic,
young and old, will buy that line, while reaching for the
next bottle? Do we think that those who are involved in the
sin of fornication, those who are living together, young or
older, are worried about their membership being cancelled? I
believe that Jesus knew that the road ahead for Christians
was not going to be easy. And so he promised another
Advocate, The Holy Spirit. He wasn’t about to leave those
apostles and disciples orphaned. You see folks, God loves us
so much that there is not one second that He isn’t with us,
with every single human being on the face of this earth.
“And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will
love him and reveal myself to him.”
There is indeed a challenge that lies before us, to
understand the breath and the depth, and the scope of God’s
love for humanity. Even more challenging is the task, that WE
realize that all people who seek that love, Protestant,
Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, Pentecostal, Jew, Muslim,
unbelievers, terrorists, prisoners, the poor, the sick, the
back, while, red, green, whatever – desiring to be embraced
by God’s love, are then, embraced in that love of His, for we
are all children of his human race. Oh, some might have to
change a few behavior patterns, but with the Holy Spirit
watching over all, anything is possible.
This gift of the Holy Spirit, who is God, has been graced to
us from the beginning, and yet it seems that we know so
little about him/her; we understand so little the remarkable
miracles and wonders that have happened because of the gifts
of the Spirit. If nothing else, we should know that the
Spirit works through us revealing the word of Jesus and the
face of the Father. And are we ever in a need for that
Spirit in this time and age, given so many uncertainties in
this world and this country, that seems like it is all
One thing remains certain dear friends. God’s love remains
certain. It is unconditional and it is forever. It has to
be, because God is forever and God is love, and no matter
what our circumstances on life’s road or journey, that love
is constantly reaching out to us to serve us, to heal us,
and to bring us peace. That’s the good news, and folks we
had better be clinging to that love so tight that nothing
can separate us from it. The sad news is that so many fail
to allow God’s touch to reach them. So many will turn away,
walk away, and look away. With so much at stake in these
troubled times in our country and this world, let us embrace
the Father’s love, through Jesus his Son, whose presence in
our lives reveals the Father, and under the guidance and
care of the Holy Spirit, for those gifts of the Holy Spirit
enables us to know more fully, this great love.!
It is my hope that this message has been meaningful to you.
May God bless you this coming week with good health and also
in all of your needs. Go in peace to love and serve the
“Thank YOU my Marvelous Daddy” by Celtic Thunder – by Janine
Mother's Love ~
I didn't know that my day was going to be any
different than any other day back then, many years ago. I
awoke that morning and got ready for work just like any day
before it. But for some strange reason I felt a very heavy
burden as I was fixing my lunch and drinking my coffee. I
was not feeling physically bad, had been married to a very
wonderful wife for a little over ten years, and had three
very wonderful children. I wasn't depressed, or so I
thought I wasn't. Just this very strange feeling like I was
caring the world on my shoulders.
I got into the car and started for work like any
other day, but this feeling started to swell up inside of me
even stronger. I said my morning prayers as usual, and just
tried to put it aside. After approaching the main highway
that led to my work place, I just stopped for a moment. To
turn right would take me to work. To turn left, I really
didn't know, because going left would take me to many
places; homes of many relatives, including my mom and dad's
place. I really had no desire to go see anyone, but I did
turn left, and just went on driving, still not quite sure
what was going on, still having this feeling of being
Since my mom and dad's place was the first one I
could choose to go to, I decided to stop there to see how
they were doing, not knowing for sure if they would even be
awake, as it was quite early in the morning yet. I got out
of the car, walked to the front door, and looking through
the glass pane on the door, could see my mom sitting on a
couch. I tapped the door a bit, and just walked in. And
then, I felt very overwhelmed, and went over to mom, sat
down beside her, and started crying. She looked at me and
said, "I've been waiting for you." I started telling her
how heavy burdened I felt, about life, about all the
responsibilities that was on my shoulders, and that I didn't
know if I go handle it anymore. She put my head on her lap
and stated praying for me, while I was still letting go of
the tears. She stroked my hair as she prayed, and assured
me that everything was going to be ok, that I was under
God's care, and just continued to pray. I asked her if she
would mind me staying at their place that day. Of course
she didn't mind, and even called my work place to tell them
that I wouldn't be in that day. I began to feel much
better, and fell asleep on her lap, feeling very healed of
all the down feelings I came there with. My mom was not one
to show her affection, and I can never remember as a child
being hugged, kissed, or receiving any kind of affection
from her, though I still loved her very much. That is just
the way she was, but on that day, she already knew that I
was hurting before I even went to see her. I was so touched
by her love, as much as I was by her compassion and deep
faith in God. I knew that what happened that day would
remain in her heart as well as mine. Not all folks are so
fortunate to have had a mother such as mine, and so many
like her. Some have had mothers that were perhaps cold,
indifferent, or abusive.
On my way home later that day, I began to think of
another mother, one that my mom reminded me so much off; the
mother of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. I remembered reading
in the bible (Luke 41-51) that Mary and Joseph would got to
Jerusalem each year for the feast of Passover. Not much is
mentioned about Jesus in his youth, but in that particular
passage, it mentions that Jesus went with them when he was
twelve years of age. On the return trip, Mary and Joseph
both thought that Jesus was with the other in the caravan,
but he wasn’t. They went back to the temple when he last
was, and found him there listening to the teachers and
asking them questions. After a brief scolding (I suppose
you can call it that), Jesus told Mary, “Did you not know
that I had to be in my Father’s house?” Not quite
understanding what he meant by that, Mary however, keep it
in her heart, and they returned home.
I would imagine that Mary, like my mother, knew her
son very well, and I think that it might have been very
likely that at times, Jesus went to his mother when he was
feeling kind of down and out or perhaps confused about
growing up, and that she gave him her lap on which to lay,
and gave comfort to him and assured him during his down
times. That is what a mother’s love is all about, and who
better than the mother of Jesus, to be such a model of such
It is revealed in John's gospel 19:26-28: Seeing
his mother there with the disciple whom he loved, Jesus said
to his mother, "Woman, there is your son." In turn he said
to the disciple, "There is your mother." From that hour
onward, the disciple took her into his care.
There is much that is not revealed as being said in
the scriptures, but somehow, it doesn't seem to be too
difficult to read between the lines, especially when Jesus
speaks. Could it be possible that Jesus was speaking to all
of humankind when he said to his mother, " . . . there is
your son/daughter?" "There is your mother." Could it be
that Jesus gave us his mother to be there for each of us
when we so desperately need a mother to go to? I know that
many faith denominations do not hold to some beliefs about
Mary as some others do, but I would not hesitate for one
minute to go to her, as I have often times in my life.
That's just me. I hold Mary in very high esteem, but I will
keep those thoughts in my heart. I do know that if I were
to speak about a mother's love, aside from my own birth
mother, I would certainly go to the mother of Jesus, for she
definitely is my model of a mother's love.
May 14th, 2002
~ Love One Another ~
Love one another with my
As I have loved you, your Father above.
Help one another in times of need,
As I have helped you, please do this for me.
Give so that others will know what its like,
To have someone who cares
about their sorrows and strife.
Touch someone’s life even if its in a small way,
Never forgetting how much I touch your life everyday.
Laugh and share joy with everyone that you see,
Showing them that true happiness comes from me.
Don’t be afraid to speak my name, no matter where you are.
For I am with you, and I love you I will never be far.
Let go of the things in life that holds you down,
I’m your Father, and through me, is where your help is
All these things that I ask, you can do for free,
For the price was paid in full, on an old rugged tree.
Yes look around and reach out, to someone everyday,
Do this for me so everyone sees,
how much I love them in everyway.