6th Sunday of Easter - Year C
Imagine for a moment that you are a first century gentile man who is excited about becoming a Christian. As you are learning about our blessed Lord Jesus and His teachings, someone tells you “oh, by the way, you have to be circumcised to be saved, and have a nice day”. What would you think? Would you continue on in your faith journey? Not to mention the painful procedure to be endured to show that you truly believed. Well, if this sounds like a joke, believe me it is quite real. The early Church was made up almost entirely of Jewish people who followed Christ and were circumcised when they were eight days old. As gentiles came into the Church many believed that they had to follow the Jewish laws of dietary practices and of being circumcised. Since disagreement occurred, the early Church decided to form the very first Church council, which came to be known as the Council of Jerusalem, and their mission was to decide about these issues.
In our first reading we see how this council was formed and how the Church throughout the years has functioned. Various councils have decided many issues. What books would go in the bible was decided at one of these councils. The belief in the Trinity, and the fullness of Jesus’ humanity and divinity were also decided. Creeds and credos, theology and Sacred Scripture and Tradition all evolved from these councils. Isn’t it great to be a Catholic? This was our Church doing all of this. We are the only Church that can trace its roots all the way back to Jesus Himself. The Catholic Church. That is cool!
In our second reading, St. John sees the New Jerusalem descending in glory and jewels and beyond description. We cannot even begin to fathom all that our Lord has in store for those who believe. Finally we have the gospel and our Lord tells us that He and the Father along with the Holy Spirit will come to dwell in us! How wonderful is this to meditate and think upon. So, this week take some time and be proud of the Church history we share, contemplate on the Holy Trinity dwelling in you and just what that means. Do these things and you to will begin to see things in their true glory. (By the way, the council decided that the gentiles did not have to be circumcised)…May God richly bless you always…