The readings today have helped me reflect on a somewhat contemporary phrase, “WWJD” (What Would Jesus Do?). In the first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, the statement “Unless you are circumcised according the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved” is a very specific and narrow view of how any of us can form a relationship with God. This reading, which speaks to a very specific action, ends by acknowledging that “The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.” My understanding, from the reading, is/was that Jesus came to teach us a New understanding of love, of community and of expectations that now have to be considered along with the Old laws.
The responsorial Psalm “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord” and “In it are set up judgment seats, seats for the house of David” tells me that our faith communities should help guide us and show us how to live according to “WWJD”. None of us are perfect, and as descents of the house of David, who may sit in the judges’ seats, we are expected to guide and not to condemn the community of faith- filled people.
The Gospel from John reminds me that God, as the vine grower, will provide care and direction for the vine and all of us “branches” who will hopefully be fruitful in sharing the messages from God and live our lives according to “WWJD”.
“Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine”, this image is a reminder of my need to stay in close relationship with God and the teachings of Jesus. If our worldview is simply based on what I can do by myself we limit our possibilities. God, through Divine Intervention, has created marvelous opportunities and experiences for me, which have strengthened my need to remain being a strong branch so as to do God’s work and to share with others. How wonderful it has been to live my life with God, who has always taken care of me. My faith has empowered me to take risks, to ask questions, and know why I support others. As a branch from the vine, God will give me what it is that I need- be it a struggle, an accomplishment or an “aha” experience if I remain faithful and always consider “WWJD”….
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