First reading Acts 15:7-21 

I rule that we do not make things more difficult for the pagans who turn to God

After the discussion had gone on a long time, Peter stood up and addressed the apostles and the elders.
  ‘My brothers,’ he said ‘you know perfectly well that in the early days God made his choice among you: the pagans were to learn the Good News from me and so become believers. In fact God, who can read everyone’s heart, showed his approval of them by giving the Holy Spirit to them just as he had to us. God made no distinction between them and us, since he purified their hearts by faith. It would only provoke God’s anger now, surely, if you imposed on the disciples the very burden that neither we nor our ancestors were strong enough to support? Remember, we believe that we are saved in the same way as they are: through the grace of the Lord Jesus.’
  This silenced the entire assembly, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul describing the signs and wonders God had worked through them among the pagans.
  When they had finished it was James who spoke. ‘My brothers,’ he said ‘listen to me. Simeon has described how God first arranged to enlist a people for his name out of the pagans. This is entirely in harmony with the words of the prophets, since the scriptures say:
 
After that I shall return
and rebuild the fallen House of David;
I shall rebuild it from its ruins
and restore it.
Then the rest of mankind,
all the pagans who are consecrated to my name,
will look for the Lord,
says the Lord who made this known so long ago.
 
‘I rule, then, that instead of making things more difficult for pagans who turn to God, we send them a letter telling them merely to abstain from anything polluted by idols, from fornication, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has always had his preachers in every town, and is read aloud in the synagogues every sabbath.’
 

Responsorial Psalm 95(96):1-3,10

Proclaim the wonders of the Lord among all the peoples.
or
Alleluia!
 
O sing a new song to the Lord,
  sing to the Lord all the earth.
  O sing to the Lord, bless his name.
 
Proclaim his help day by day,
  tell among the nations his glory
  and his wonders among all the peoples.
 
Proclaim to the nations: ‘God is king.’
  The world he made firm in its place;
  he will judge the peoples in fairness.
 

Gospel John 15:9-11

Remain in my love

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘As the Father has loved me,
so I have loved you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
I have told you this
so that my own joy may be in you
and your joy be complete.’
 
____________________________
 

The great joy of being loved by Jesus

 
“I have loved you just as the Father has loved me”. The response of being loved by Jesus is joy, which is the mark of a true Christian, a faithful friend of Jesus! Nothing and nobody can take away this profound joy from us. We rejoice that we are loved; thus, we can face each difficulty with certainty that God will not disappoint us because He is with us.
 
Jesus’ love for us is the foundation of our lives. With His love in us, we learn how to love others. Today, we are called to go out and share His love with those around us by putting patience, kindness, compassion, etc., into action. It does not matter if others do not respond to our love. We continue to do good. Today, let us allow Jesus’ words to constantly resound in our hearts, “I have loved you just as the Father has loved me”. From remaining in His love, we show love to others.
 
Reflective question:
How can I abide in Jesus’ love today?
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.