Word of the day

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Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading of the day

A reading from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles
Acts 15,7-21

After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters,
"My brothers, you are well aware that from early days
God made his choice among you that through my mouth
the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe.
And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us.
He made no distinction between us and them,
for by faith he purified their hearts.
Why, then, are you now putting God to the test
by placing on the shoulders of the disciples
a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?
On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they."
The whole assembly fell silent,
and they listened
while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders
God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

After they had fallen silent, James responded,
"My brothers, listen to me.
Symeon has described how God first concerned himself
with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name.
The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:

After this I shall return
and rebuild the fallen hut of David;
from its ruins I shall rebuild it
and raise it up again,
so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord,
even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things,
known from of old.

It is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath."

Gospel of the day

From the Gospel according to John
Jn 15,9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
"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 might be in you and
your joy might be complete."

Words of the Holy Father

To abide in Jesus’ love. To live in the flow of God’s love, to take up permanent residence there, is the condition to ensure that our love does not lose its ardour and boldness along the way. Like Jesus and in Him, we too must welcome with gratitude the love that comes from the Father and abide in this love, trying to avoid being separated from it by egoism and sin. It is a demanding project but it is not impossible. First and foremost, it is important to realize that Christ’s love is not a superficial feeling, no; it is a fundamental attitude of the heart which is manifested in living as He wishes. In fact, Jesus states: “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (Jn 15:10). Love is fulfilled in everyday life, in attitudes, in deeds. Otherwise, it is only something illusory. They are words, words, words: that is not love. Love is concrete, every day. Jesus asks us to follow his commandments, which are summarized in the following: “that you love one another as I have loved you” (v. 12). (Regina Caeli, 6 May 2018)