Today's readings. The early Church continues to grow. Creating challenges for the Gentiles who hear the word of God and desire to become a part of the Christian community seemed to be a concern. Perhaps we might consider the current "pre-launch" days of the upcoming debate on immigration that will create concerns on how we, as a national, address the reality of so many people who have a strong desire to become a part of our American family.
We see in the reading from the Acts of the Apostles these powerful words from St. Peter who said: "Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?" Peter was questioning whether believing in Jesus required the following of Mosaic law and customs in addition to faith in Jesus Christ. Peter and Paul both gave testimony to their hearers as to the impact of their teachings and the power of the Holy Spirit. Clearly the Spirit's intentions were heard in the hearts of the apostles in their work among the Gentiles. That was sufficient.
The gospel reminds us, then, that we are called by Jesus to "Remain in my love." And how do we do that? By keeping the Commandments. Some suggest this: if we truly love someone, we do not need laws to guide us. A genuine love for another person should remove the necessity of being told how to act, how to care for one you love. Our living the commandments is made so clear by the love we are called to give to one another. Knowing what true love is with regard to others, is an example of what living the Commandments means.
The immigration question: We are called to love one another. Can this be the guiding principal in any discussion of the topic? Or, is "Thou shalt not ...." the driving force?