May 26, 2019: A Council and Counsel
On this Sixth Sunday of Easter we hear of the first of many councils of the Church as it is described in the Acts of the Apostles. (The most recent council was the Second Vatican Council in 1963-1965.) The Council of Jerusalem, as it is called, dealt with how to integrate Jewish and non-Jewish (Gentile) people who were becoming Christian. Their council led to this marvelous statement: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities…”
This reading is paired with the gospel in which Jesus promises the coming of the Holy Spirit who is called the Advocate or Paraclete. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to offer us counsel, guiding us in a spirit-led way of living. The Holy Spirit reminds us of everything that Jesus himself has taught us through his words and actions.
As we draw closer to the great feast of Pentecost, prayerfully think about how you experience the guidance of the Holy Spirt in gatherings with other people and in reminders of what Jesus said and did.