May 21, 2022
(Acts 15:1-2,22-29; Ps.67:2-6,8; Rv.21:10-14,22-23; Jn.14:23-29)
“The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”
And so is “the holy city Jerusalem” protected; and so are its boundaries defined. And so we come to the apostles to find the true teaching of Christ.
When “there arose no little dissension and debate” between Paul and Barnabas and certain brothers from Judea who were insisting the Gentile converts must be “circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,” what was the recourse needed to settle this most crucial of questions – the first great question of the Church? “It was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders.” There the debate would be settled. There authority is found – in the apostles and those they appoint. There is nowhere else on earth any could turn to secure the truth, to find genuine guidance of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus has promised “will teach [the disciples] everything,” who will be with the Church as its Advocate till the end of time. And so the apostles and elders speak in truth when they write to the waiting souls of the Gentiles: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden,” for indeed they speak of the Holy Spirit and for and by the Holy Spirit – indeed they speak the truth.
Brothers and sisters, is not the reason the Church is fractured into hundreds if not thousands or even millions of pieces (each soul following his own way without regard for the teaching of the Church), is not the reason some advocate for abortion, or euthanasia, or female or homosexual priests, or a thousand other indiscretions and blasphemies – is not the cause of the great turmoil within the walls of the temple as well as, inevitably, outside it in the world… is it not fundamentally a lack of obedience to the teachings of Christ, to the teachings of His apostles? And though it is so that upon all His baptized is placed the seal of the Spirit, and so all may know the truth, yet it is just as so that without the confirmation of the apostles – as even Paul realized – one cannot be sure of his thoughts, and certainly has no right to teach! Surely the Jews thought they were right in insisting the Gentiles be circumcised. Let none be presumptuous of the Spirit’s word.
In the heavenly city there is “no temple,” there is “no need of sun or moon” – “the glory of God [gives] it light, and its lamp [is] the Lamb.” But we do not dwell in the fullness of Jerusalem here; this I can assure you. On earth we have unquestionable need for a Church. And that Church is now founded in Rome with the Pope.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Solid Rock Unshakable Foundation" from The Innocent Heart, first album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, let the light and peace of your Son
be with us this day as we gather in your holy NAME.
YHWH, let us enter your Temple, here on earth and in Heaven. With you and with your Son let us dwell. Your Church, the New Jerusalem, be our home.
O LORD, to your holy City let all peoples come – make your face shine upon all souls. To your heavenly glory Jesus calls us, and so, let us indeed keep His Word, His commandment of love, and with us you will come to dwell.
But how shall we know if we are keeping your commandments except by the authority you place upon the twelve apostles? How can we be certain we are following the path to the kingdom apart from the declaration of Peter? If we are not obedient to the ones you send, we shall not be obedient to you, and so will be without the light of the Holy Spirit to guide us. O let us be one with you as is your Son, as is your Church on earth! O LORD, let us glory in your presence forever.