Reflections

Reflections

7 May 2021

Reading and meditation on the Word of God on Friday of the 5th week of Easter, May 7, 2021


This is my commandment to you: love one another. Reading and meditation on the Word of God on Friday of the 5th week of Easter, May 7, 2021. Reading is delivered by Wenchie Tomas dan meditation delivered by April Mendoza, from Saint Peter’s School in Jakarta, Indonesia. Acts of the Apostles 15: 22-31; Rs psalm 57: 8-9.10-12; John 15: 12-17.

COUNCIL OF THE CHURCH

Our meditation today has the theme: Council of the Church. Council is a very technical word in our Church. It is not used in general and in our daily conversation. This actually refers to the counselors or leaders of the Church who have great responsibilities in to take care and govern the Church. So, the council of the Church is actually the council meeting of the leaders of the Christian world to discuss a number of problems or controversies which then produce certain decision, doctrine and  teachings for all members of the Church.

We often hear the term “Vatican Council II”. This was a worldwide council leaders meeting where the Pope, bishops and various prominent figures of the Church met to discuss fundamental themes about the life of the Catholic Church in modern times. This council was held in the 1960’s. The liturgical order, teaching, the role of the Church in the world today, among others, are the fruits of this great council. The main objective of the Church council is to determine the vision and mission of the Church which is loyal to Jesus Christ as well as to be relevant with the times. Since the Second Vatican Council, there have been no other councils in the Catholic Church.

Prior to the Second Vatican Council, there had been many councils since the foundation of the Church at the moment of the Pentecost. The first council is called the Council of Jerusalem which is related in today’s first reading, Acts of the Apostles chapter 15, verses 22-31. The main topic of discussion at that council was the mission of the Church which was open to reach out those who were considered unbelievers. Paul and Barnabas and their co-workers were assigned to direct the churches outside Jerusalem so that their growth of faith would not follow other directions but to have full obedience to one Church authority. So that council wanted to strengthen the obedience and unity of all members of the Church.

The objective of the council of the Church since Jerusalem’s council has been to ensure the communion of the Church which must be maintained by strengthening obedience and loyalty from all members. Moreover, the council also has another important task, which is to ensure that love, as the main teaching of Jesus Christ, continues to animate and to lead the lives of all followers of Christ. The worldwide mission of the Church is to spread a culture of love. Each different culture of people exercises the same and the only faith of the Church that should not be contradicted with Jesus Christ. Love plays a big role here. Love indeed ensures that the mission of the Church is firmly safeguarded and every culture develops the way of inculturation. The Indonesian Catholic Church really grows in the way of inculturation.

Inculturation in whatever form will live up to the universal teaching of the love of Christ. Our culture never rejects love, which is the sacrifice made for the goodness and salvation of others. The Council of the Church ensures that this teaching remains original and always comes from the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s pray. In the name of the Father … O God Almighty, guard and protect Your Church which is faithful to the fellowship and the practice of love in accordance with Your teachings. Glory to the Father … In the name of the Father …

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