Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the whole church, decided to choose men from among their members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers, with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the believers of Gentile origin in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. Since we have heard that certain persons who have gone out from us, though with no instructions from us, have said things to disturb you and have unsettled your minds, we have decided unanimously to choose representatives and send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden than these essentials: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.” So they were sent off and went down to Antioch. When they gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. When its members read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
“They were delighted”. So Luke writes when the followers of the Way learned the Council of Jerusalem, inspired by the Holy Spirit, had addressed their concerns.
On a recent weekend, I calendared a grandchild’s christening, celebrated a centenarian’s birthday, watched golden daffodils bloom, attended a cousin’s fortieth wedding anniversary, and opened a granddaughter’s purple (my favorite color) crayon-scribbled note proclaiming “I Love You.” I was delighted. I remind myself to treasure and retain these joy-filled events in memory for times when life gets challenging.
Pope Francis has remarked: “Joy is the sign of a Christian….There are Christians with faces like pickled chili peppers: always with [long] faces, with souls to match….This is bad….There is no such thing as a sad Christian; the Holy Spirit teaches us to love and fills us with joy.“
In this time of Resurrection joy, how can I better come to recognize and appreciate the joys in my daily life?
―George Penman Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found Chicago’s Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and three grandchildren.
I ask the Father to give me an intimate knowledge of the many gifts I have received that, filled with gratitude for all, I may in all things love and serve the Divine Majesty.
―Spiritual Exercises #233Please share the Good Word with your friends!