The first reading is describing the first council of Jerusalem. In brief, how do we let non-Jewish people into the new faith, Christianity. This was a major issue. For all Jewish history, it is a religion for a select group of people. Now, with the resurrection of Jesus, many people were coming to this new religion. Should they become Jewish? After reflection, prayer, and study, the disciples quickly decided that the new people must follow the commandments and love one another as Jesus loves you.
Following the commandments. Easier said than done. For those of you reading this you have had a lifetime of practice hearing about the commandments. You probably find it just as difficult as when you first learned the commandments. Why? Because you have discovered the commandments go deeper than what they first appear. For example, do not kill. Not only can you not kill but you can not have anger toward another person. No, you cannot use the excuse you did not know what you were signing up for. Instead, take a commandment and each week just think about it. One commandment, one week. Let us give it a try.
Let me choose. I do not like to start at the beginning so let us take “Keep holy the Sabbath day.” Seems relatively simple enough. Let us think about this commandment this week. First, remember last Sunday? What did you do to keep holy that day? Did you go to Mass? Great. Awesome start. Do you remember the homily? Oh-oh. I am not the greatest homilist in the world. So even if you do not remember what I said, do you remember the Gospel reading? (Hint: it had something to do with vines.) Bonus: do you remember the phrase ‘Remain in me.” Did your Sunday give you relaxation and pleasure? Some people like gardening. Others working on old cars. Many people enjoy just doing family things, picnics, games, etc. On a scale of one to ten how would you rate last Sunday? More importantly, what are you going to do this Sunday to make it a ten? Spoiler alert: Jesus says to remain in His love.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen