Deed and truth

Greetings on this the Fifth Sunday of Easter
Readings: Acts 9:26-31; PS 22:26-27, 28, 30, 31-32; 1 Jn 3:18-24; Jn 15:1-8
Note: Yesterday at the Vigil Mass, the Bishop confirmed 24 of our teens.

Early Church
In the early Church, allowing someone to join was a life and death decision for the entire community. Unknowingly adding spies or a ne’er-do-well would cause a disaster and the death of many believers. Christians were a hunted group.

Saul was such a hunter.

Barnabas was his Sponsor to the faith giving testimony as to Saul’s theophany experience, community actions and preaching of Christ. Barnabas gave witness to the admonishing of Saint John’s letter:

Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

They accepted Paul (Saul) and eventually sent him on his way to Tarsus. Tarsus is the place of Paul’s youth, education and misguided zeal for the Lord. He was returned to the place that malformed him. This time to correct the error and bring reform.

Responsorial Psalm
I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.

We are given to continue worship in community. Paul did not want to live outside of community but be a part of it. A healthy part of it. Certainly, the Church honors him by often referring to the Church as the Church of Saints Peter and Paul.

Deed and Truth
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.

How we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit
We use this as a standard list of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

Mission of the Holy Spirit
Luke 4:18-19, Jesus proclaims Isa 61:1-2a.
THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,
BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.
HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,
TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”

Fruits of the Spirit
Gal 5:22-23
In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Branchedness
Jesus is the Vine, the Father the Vine grower.
We are branches – unique, different, and in unity. Each of us on our own mission in harmony and our strength sourced from the Vine itself, Jesus.

We are given gifts. We are given mission.

Above all, we are to be fruitful in the Spirit. The fruit is not outcomes. The fruit is the expression of the essence of who we are, day in/day out, bringing witness to the goodness of the Lord.

God is responsible for outcomes!
We are to accept the gifts, make the spritual fruitfulness of these gifts.

Let the Lord count the numbers of conversions, the Sunday attendance, the quantity of Sacraments given today (excluding practical considerations).

Let the Angels reap and gather the wheat to the barns and the chaff to the firepit.

Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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