“And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as he did us” 

 
O God, by whose grace,
though sinners, we are made just
and, though pitiable, made blessed,
stand, we pray, by your works,
stand by your gifts,
that those justified by faith
may not lack the courage of perseverance.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Today's Reading

 

Daily Meditation: 

And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us. Acts 15

As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love. John 15

The first council in Jerusalem takes their discernment from the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit guided them to recognize that God's generous love was for all people.

Jesus continues to ask us to remain in his love,
to make our home in that love.
We reflect today on all the ways we try to make our home elsewhere,
and we recognize that we remain in other places and patterns.
Jesus shares the wonderful reality that he wants nothing more than our happiness.
He wants to give us his own joy and he desires that our joy be complete.
We can ask for those graces today.

I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete. John 15

 

Intercessions: 

Christ rose from the dead and is always present in his Church. Let us adore him and say:

Stay with us, Lord.

Lord, Jesus, victor over sin and death, glorious and immortal,
- be always in our midst. 

Come to us in the power of your victory,
- and show our hearts the loving kindness of your Father.

Come to heal a world wounded by division,
- for you alone can transform our hearts and make them one.

Strengthen our faith in final victory:
- and renew our hope in your second coming

 

Closing Prayer: 

Stay with us, Lord.
Our fears and the world get in the way
and we don't always serve as your presence on this earth.

You know my heart, you know my love for you, 
and you hold me in your warmest embrace
despite my wavering hope and courage. 
Let me rely on you in every moment.
Guide my feet in the path of peace and 
lead me to offer your love to those on the margins.
It is then that I will really feel you in my heart
and my joy will be complete.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

 
 
Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

“The whole assembly fell silent and listened.”

Meetings, meetings, and more meetings! Councils, conclaves, conferences, conventions, and committees! Then there are summits, assemblies, reunions, and all kinds of ways we gather together for   learning, gathering information, and to make communal, congregational, ecclesial, organizational and even family decisions. Sometime, too, we meet to resolve differences, and to understand more deeply the movement of the Spirit in times of important matters to be addressed. So we can hope! Do we experience silence and truly listen?

This is where we find the setting of our first reading. The early church gathers to figure out what is happening as the Spirit has sent apostles and disciples to the ends of the earth to share the Good News. Now there is the matter of Jews and Greeks (Gentiles) forming the community of believers. “God, the Holy Spirit, made no distinction between them for by faith God purified their hearts.” As Paul and Barnabas recall the words of the prophets and the saving grace of the Christ, Jesus, silence fell and the assembly listened. How important it is to discern and recognize the presence of the Spirit in the voices that speak. Perhaps the assembly remembers, too, the words of Jesus in the Gospel of today, to “remain in my love.” This decision is the matter of the heart, love, faith, and of trust. No longer are they Gentile or Jew, but one in the Christ.  

Attending to the movements of the heart, and listening to the Spirit through prayer, is often referred to as discernment. We can experience this through individual or communal discernment processes. It is a path for clarity, a process to help make decisions, but most essentially, it is a way of living. It is a daily consciousness of being aware that the Spirit is alive and active within us, and in life.  All we need to do is to be attentive. To be silent and to listen!

I am a person who actually enjoys meetings. I find them to be opportunities for creativity, exchange and reconciliation. I attend them knowing and trusting in the presence of the Spirit to guide and to enlighten.   So, if you are at a meeting and there seems to be an impasse…. STOP, PRAY AND LISTEN!

A prayer of discernment: Prayer Before the Crucifix, by St. Francis of Assisi

Most high and glorious God,
Enlighten the darkness of my (our) heart,
Give me (us) correct faith, certain hope and perfect charity.
Give me (us) insight and wisdom
So I (we) may always discern your holy and true command.

God’s holy and true command? “Love one another!  Remain in my love!” We are told this so that     “God’s joy may be in you and your joy might be complete.” 

May you enjoy your next meeting!  

by Sr. Candice Tucci, O.S.F.
Creighton University's Chaplain of the College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer


Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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