1. Paul and Barnabas traveled through the lands and they opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. According to them, who was responsible for letting in the Gentiles? Who is in charge of your ministry? How deep is your belief about that?
2. Acts refers to its author “undergoing some hardships.” Could these be connected to the “new commandment” about love that Jesus gives in Sunday’s Gospel? And what about you? Have you discovered hardships in your life connected to loving your neighbor? Even though God opened the doors to Gentiles, what still must take place before faith is received?
1. What is the connection between the holy city in the reading and God’s dwelling with the human race?
2. God and human persons dwell together. Where is this visible? Is it in the Lord’s legacy of selfless love? “He will wipe every tear from their eyes.” Can God wipe away a few tears in you?
John 13:31-33a, 34-35
1. Did Jesus give us edicts, rubrics and canons? What one rule did he give us over and over? What teaching of the Church do you think will bring all people to Christ? Do you recognize saintly people by how hard they work and the money and time they give, or how much they love others? Or both? Does God love the world through us if we let it happen?
2. “As I have loved you, so should you love one another.” According to Pope Francis, how do we show that we “love one another” in our words or in our actions?
Christian love is always “concrete.” Love, then, consists more in actions than in words, more in giving than in receiving.
Love is not a kind of romanticism: either it is a selfless and solicitous love which rolls up its sleeves and looks to the poor, preferring to give rather than to receive; or it has nothing to do with Christian love.
“If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.” (1 John 4:12
) The experience of faith is found in this double “remaining.”
Vatican Radio, Pope Francis,
Mass celebrated at the Casa Santa Marta, January 9, 2014
Pope Francis: Christian love is concrete