WEDNESDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
Reading 1: Acts 15: 1-6 Because of dissension that disturbed some of the first Christian communities, Paul goes to Jerusalem to consult with other apostles.
Gospel: Jn 15: 1-8 Jesus compares his Church to a vine and its branches. He is the vine, we are the branches, so intimate is our union with him.
ABIDE IN CHRIST, LIBERATE THE MEMORY
We find a connection between today’s readings and the doctrine on memory by St. John of the Cross. Human beings created in God’s image are purely innocent. But, when they become part of history and acquire socio-cultural and religious ideologies and customs, the memory is manipulated by these perceptions and is unknowingly subjugated. Society defines him by a pseudo-identity, which enslaves him and distorts the truth.
The Judean converts in the first reading who proposed circumcision were naturally led by their enslaved memory, which followed the Law and Jewish customs. They were baptized into Christ, but were still enslaved to their memory. Only in Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, can the memory be purified. By baptism, we are attached to Christ, the true vine. Unless our memory is emptied of all its collected baggage, it will obstruct our new life of Christ. Otherwise, we will be attached to Christ through customs and practices but may dry up spiritually.
Once emptied of the old, we must ‘abide with Christ’ (Jn 15:7) in our memory. We do this by prayer, studying the scriptures and the teachings of the Catholic Church, allowing them to influence our mind and attitudes. This renewed memory will then be guided by the living hope of the coming of the kingdom of God not only in the future but also in this present life. This hope will enable us to move forward towards our heavenly goal with a vision that helps us see God’s perspective in all the events of this present life including our sufferings.
Abiding in Christ helps to unearth our real identity as children of God. By participating in the mystery of God, we become ‘another Christ’ to our neighbour. Thus, salvation is realized in us. We bear abundant fruit of virtues and experience true freedom. Our life itself gives glory to God
Resp. Psalm: Ps 122: 1-5 Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord
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