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. Jul 2021 .
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Doctrines & Morals

I have chosen you out of the world

Acts 16:1-10, Jn 15:18-21. Today's first reading reveals how Paul mentions the conflicts he had to meet when going about his mission. Rejected in one place, he would move on to another, so that the Gospel continued to spread out to new areas. If objectors put road-blocks in the way of his mission, he saw it as a blessing in disguise. He wanted to preach the Gospel in “Asia” but something forced him to change plans; and he interpreted this as being "prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message.” Even the jealousy and quarrels that later divided the Church in Corinth did not make him give up. A solution was found for every problem and the Gospel message continued to spread. It may seem odd that Paul felt it right to have Timothy circumcised before taking him on as a mission-companion. This came after the Council of Jerusalem had decreed that new converts from paganism did not need this Jewish ritual. However, in Timothy’s case, Paul felt that he should have this ritual to avoid future controversy, because his mother was a Jewess who had neglected to have her son circumcised at childhood.

After some sophisticated reasoning on Paul’s part he persuaded young Timothy to be circumcised, so as not to scandalise the Jews of that region, even if they are rejected. Rejection is part of the challenges of the Christian faith as Jesus says in today's Gospel: “I have chosen you out of the world, and therefore the world hates you.” He clearly saw that disciples who spoke openly about their faith would have to endure hostility from non-believers. Yet, He wants His followers to respond with love and compassion, just as God treats us. The phrase “A servant is not greater than his master,” can be read in two ways. One is, “if the master is ill-treated so will the servants be.” The other way is, “if the master washed the servants’ feet, the servants must do likewise for each other. By saying “a servant is not greater than his master” Jesus gives us food for thought. We must depend on the Holy Spirit’s guidance, to be like the master in every aspect.

May the Lord help us to be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and empower us to reach out in loving concern for others! Amen!! Good morning and do have a happy weekend!!!

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