The message of God’s loving grace for myself and all of humanity comes through loudly in these readings. In Acts we see the message of universal salvation for all. As the dietary and other Jewish practices are dropped, the road for Gentiles to become members of the body of Christ becomes wider. Laws of men would no longer be a hindrance. Acts speaks to the real road to union with Christ. Paul reminds those he is addressing that: On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they. Simply put by God’s grace we are saved.
The theme continues in the Gospel. The passage tells me that if I keep the commandments I will remain in God’s love. In the end I reach the beatific vision. The 15th chapter of John deals with the necessity to love one another which follows immediately after the passage in today’s Gospel. How simple it should be to simply keep the commandments and love one another as Christ has loved us.
Both these reading put that challenge before me. Daily I try to meet the challenge but fail. How hard it becomes to love the annoying neighbor or the caustic fellow employee. How easy it is to become angry at my wife or children. Yet I know when I allow myself to become open to Christ’s love, good things will happen. Through His grace, I can remain in love, if I just allow Christ in. So as I look at what is difficult to me and ponder what I sometimes see as the impossible, I know through the grace of the Lord all things are possible.
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