Acts 15:1-6 Reflection:
In the first reading today we have the report of what has come to be known as the ‘Council of Jerusalem,’ which is the first recorded Council of the Church.
A problem arose when some Jews were insisting that gentiles who were converting to Christianity had to be circumcised before they could become Christians. This was important because if the Church said that the people did not have to be circumcised, they were setting the Christian faith further away from the Jewish religion and moving more and more towards becoming a separate religion altogether.
There is also another point: the Church was beginning to form a ‘mind’ of its own in that these people were beginning to see and understand themselves as something totally new in the world and as such they would have their own traditions and ways of behaving, based on Christ’s teaching.
Then there is the fact that the people of this new faith knew that best way to sort all this out was to come together and sit down and see what the Holy Spirit had to say to the group as a whole. This is totally different from those faiths that hold we can decide all these things by ourselves. We have to come together and form a consensus.
This is the community aspect of the Church; we are not a group of individuals, we are a group of believers. And we hold a common faith that has taken 2000 years to grow and develop, all the while being constantly under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We hold to the truth, not to the most recent fad!