Sunday 22 May 2022 – THE MASTER OF ALL CULTURES

6th Sunday of Easter    

1st  Reading: Acts 15:1–2, 22–29

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.”  Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.  The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.  The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers.  This is the letter delivered by them: “The apostles and the elders, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings.  Since we have heard that some of our number who went out without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth: ‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage.  If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’”

2nd Reading:  Revelation 21:10–14, 22–23

The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.  It gleamed with the splendor of God.  Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal.  It had a massive, high wall, with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. There were three gates facing east, three north, three south, and three west.  The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.  I saw no temple in the city for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.  The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.

Gospel: John 14:23–29

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.  “I have told you this while I am with you.  The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give it to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.  You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’  If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.  And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”

THE MASTER OF ALL CULTURES: Christianity is a religion which is meant to help people to become followers of Jesus Christ. That is the only reason why Christian religion exists. Becoming a Christian does not mean abandoning one’s own culture and adapting the culture of the evangelizer. Jesus Christ is the only master of all cultures that exist. Culture being the idea, customs and social behavior of a particular people or society that enable them to survive in a particular environment.

Christianity is Christ coming to people in their particular environment to help them purify their culture by removing all those elements which are contrary to the will of God. Trying to use Christianity to impose one’s own culture upon people in their particular environment is unacceptable and can cause a set back to the work of evangelization. (Acts 15:1- 2) Christianity is not to be used as a means to promote a foreign culture, colonization or commerce. Using Christianity to promote anything else other than the teachings of Christ offends God.           

Prayer: Lord, help us not to use your name to enrich ourselves with earthily wealth.

****

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.  “I have told you this while I am with you.  The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give it to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.  You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’  If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.  And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”