Posted by: frburke23 | May 20, 2014

Thought for Wednesday, 5th Week of Easter

ACTS of the apostles 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
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 presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

=========================================

There was a heated discussion among the leaders whether or not someone had to be circumcised in order to be saved.  Circumcision was a requirement under the Mosaic law, but now the Jews who converted to Christianity were split on continuing the practice.  So what did they do?  Paul, Barnabas and some other leaders went to Jerusalem to discuss the matters with the Apostles – one of the first Vatican councils!

Jesus built His Church upon Peter, the Rock, and promised him that the Holy Spirit would guide the Church and that the powers of hell would not prevail over the Church.  This is one of the reasons I joined the Catholic Church in 1985.  It struck me that this was the Church that Christ founded, with Peter as its first shepherd, the first Pope.  The Holy Spirit is guiding, leading and protecting the Church.

Is the Church perfect?  No, it is made up of sinful human beings.  However, it is the Church that Christ established.  Think about the parable of the weeds and the wheat (Matthew 13:23-30).  The enemy sowed weeds among the wheat field one night.  When the workers saw the weeds they asked the Master if they should pull them up.  The Master told them to let the weeds and wheat grow together and at the harvest He would separate the two.  This is the Church – the Lord meant for it to be immaculate.  However, the enemy sows weeds among the wheat.  There are going to be bad people even in the Church.  This does not mean that the Church is not the one founded by Jesus.  It just means that the Lord will separate the good from the bad on the last day.

Lord, thank you for your Church and the gift of your Holy Spirit.  Continue to lead us and guide us to our heavenly home.  Change our minds and hearts so that we can be wheat in your field.  And help us to seek out the lost and to change their hearts toward you as well.

Am I wheat?

Am I a weed?

Do I trust the Holy Spirit to guide the Church that Christ established, despite the weeds that grow among us?

God bless,

Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

HECHOS DE LOS APOSTOLES 15:1-6

Algunos que habían bajado de Judea enseñaban a los hermanos,
“A menos que sean circuncidados conforme a la práctica de Moisés,
no podrán ser salvados.”
Ahí surgió una disensión y debate
por Pablo y Bernabé con ellos,
se decidió que Pablo, Bernabé y algunos de los otros
debían subir a Jerusalén a los apóstoles y presbíteros
sobre esta cuestión.
Fueron enviados en su viaje por la Iglesia,
y pasaron a través de Fenicia y Samaria
contando la conversión de los gentiles,
y trajeron gran alegría a todos los hermanos.
Cuando llegaron a Jerusalén,
fueron recibidos por la Iglesia,
así como por los Apóstoles y los presbíteros,
y contaron lo que Dios había hecho con ellos.
Pero algunos de la secta de los fariseos quienes se habían convertido en creyentes
se levantaron y dijeron: “Es necesario circuncidarlos
y dirigirlos a observar la ley de Moisés”.
Los apóstoles y los presbíteros se reunieron para ver sobre este asunto.

_______________________________________________________

Hubo una acalorada discusión entre los líderes sobre si alguien tenía que circuncidarse con el fin de ser salvado o no. La circuncisión era un requisito bajo la ley Mosaica, pero ahora los Judíos que se convirtieron al cristianismo se dividieron en continuar la práctica. Entonces, ¿qué hicieron? Pablo, Bernabé y algunos otros líderes fueron a Jerusalén para discutir los asuntos con los Apóstoles – ¡uno de los primeros concilios Vaticanos!

Jesús edificó su Iglesia sobre Pedro, la Roca, y le prometió que el Espíritu Santo guiaría a la Iglesia y que los poderes del infierno no prevalecerían sobre la Iglesia. Esta es una de las razones que me uní a la Iglesia Católica en 1985. Me llamo la atención que esta era la Iglesia que Cristo fundó, con Pedro como su primer pastor, el primer Papa. El Espíritu Santo está guiando, dirigiendo y protegiendo a la Iglesia.

¿Es la Iglesia perfecta? No, está compuesta por seres humanos pecadores. Sin embargo, es la Iglesia que Cristo estableció. Piensa en la parábola de la cizaña y el trigo (Mateo 13:23-30). El enemigo sembró cizaña entre el campo de trigo una noche. Cuando los trabajadores vieron la cizaña le preguntaron al Maestro si debían arrancarlas. El Maestro les dijo que dejaran que la maleza y el trigo crecieran juntos y en la cosecha El separaría a los dos. Esta es la Iglesia – el Señor quería decir que sea impecable. Sin embargo, el enemigo siembra cizaña entre el trigo. Va a haber malas personas, incluso en la Iglesia. Esto no significa que la Iglesia no es la fundada por Jesús. Sólo significa que el Señor va a separar lo bueno de lo malo en el último día.

Señor, gracias por tu Iglesia y el regalo de tu Espíritu Santo. Continúa conduciéndonos y guiándonos a nuestro hogar celestial. Cambia nuestras mentes y corazones para que podamos ser trigo en tu campo. Y ayúdanos a buscar a los perdidos para cambiar sus corazones hacia ti también.

¿Soy el trigo?
¿Soy la cizaña?
¿Confío en el Espíritu Santo para guiar a la Iglesia que Cristo estableció, a pesar de las malas hierbas que crecen entre nosotros?

Dios los bendiga,

Fr. Burke


Responses

  1. Fr. Burke,        Some where in the Bible it says, “Judge not least you be judged.”   There are many weeds in the world but Jesus knows all and sees all.  So, I believe I must do my best each day and be careful of my actions, thoughts, and deeds.  I must be good towards others with intention to do the right thing, and trust in Gods word.  I will be judged some day but for now each day I work hard at my Catholic faith. May Jesus bless you, and thank-you for your kindness.   Most Sincerely,   Douglas True

  2. I always enjoy your message and today’s was no different. We are the church. We are sinners. So glad you are one of us. You are an inspiration.

  3. Just struck me that if both wheat and weeds grow INSIDE of God’s field, it should be no surprise to any of us to find weeds completely running amuck OUTSIDE of God’s field.


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