First reading Acts 15:1-2,22-29

It has been decided by the Spirit and by ourselves not to burden you with any burden beyond these essentials

Some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, ‘Unless you have yourselves circumcised in the tradition of Moses you cannot be saved.’ This led to disagreement, and after Paul and Barnabas had had a long argument with these men it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and others of the church should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the problem with the apostles and elders.
  Then the apostles and elders decided to choose delegates to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; the whole church concurred with this. They chose Judas known as Barsabbas and Silas, both leading men in the brotherhood, and gave them this letter to take with them:
  ‘The apostles and elders, your brothers, send greetings to the brothers of pagan birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We hear that some of our members have disturbed you with their demands and have unsettled your minds. They acted without any authority from us; and so we have decided unanimously to elect delegates and to send them to you with Barnabas and Paul, men we highly respect who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly we are sending you Judas and Silas, who will confirm by word of mouth what we have written in this letter. It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols; from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from fornication. Avoid these, and you will do what is right. Farewell.’
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 66(67):2-3,5-6,8 

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
or
Alleluia!
 
O God, be gracious and bless us
  and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
  and all nations learn your saving help.
 
Let the nations be glad and exult
  for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
  you guide the nations on earth.
 
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
  let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
  till the ends of the earth revere him.
 
 

Second reading Apocalypse 21:10-14,22-23

He showed me the holy city coming down out of heaven

In the spirit, the angel took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
  I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple, and the city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it.
 
 

Gospel John 14:23-29

A peace the world cannot give is my gift to you

Jesus said to his disciples:
 
‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him and make our home with him.
Those who do not love me do not keep my words.
And my word is not my own:
it is the word of the one who sent me.
I have said these things to you while still with you;
but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all I have said to you.
Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you,
a peace the world cannot give,
this is my gift to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me say: I am going away, and shall return.
If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father,
for the Father is greater than I.
I have told you this now before it happens,
so that when it does happen you may believe.’
 
 
________________________________________
 

Come, Holy Spirit!

Today’s gospel is taken from the scene of the Last Supper. The disciples
knew that Jesus, their Master and Friend, would soon be facing His
death. They were sad at the prospect of losing Him and scared at what
would happen next. Jesus, however, told them that they would not be
alone. Instead, they would be able to be in a relationship with Him in a
new way. He would still be with them, though not in bodily form, but the
form of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit who dwelled in them would bring
God’s peace to their troubled hearts.
 
In life, we go through experiences of loss, uncertainty, fear, etc. Today,
Jesus reminds us that we are not alone because His Spirit of peace is
with us and in us. Listen to Jesus as He speaks these words to the
deepest part of our hearts, “Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I
give you, a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do
not let your hearts be troubled or afraid”.
 
Question for reflection:
Am I open to the presence of the Spirit that brings me the lasting peace
that I need?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.