Conversion not coercion

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Greetings on this the Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 15:22-31; PS 57:8-9, 10 and 12; Jn 15:12-17
Notes: Conversion not coercion. It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us (the Church).
(Coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats).

Faith should be free from:

  1. unnecessarily upsetting people with excessive application of our teachings.
  2. disturbance of peace of mind as a requirement or as a tactic.

The Apostles speak clearly when they said:
It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities.

The Church rightly offers her guidance on so many aspects of modern life.
But She must resist, and at the current time is embroiled in, coercion.

It is clearly not the will of the Holy Spirit to coerce people.

First reading
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.

‘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.

Responsorial Psalm
I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.

Alleluia Verse
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.

Conversion not coercion.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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