Gospel: Jn 15:1-8
I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower. If any of my branches doesn’t bear fruit, he breaks it off; and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, that it may bear even more fruit. You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you. Live in me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself, but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you, if you don’t remain in me. I am the vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not remain in me is thrown away, as they do with branches, and they wither. Then they are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask whatever you want, and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit: it is then that you become my disciples.
Unless you are circumcised, according to the law of Moses, you cannot be saved Peter and many other Jewish- Christians insisted that non-Jews wanting to be baptized first had to be circumcised and adhere by the Mosaic dietary laws. Gentiles thus had to undergo Jewish initiation rites before being baptized as Christians. Paul and Barnabas on the other hand contended that Gentiles could immediately be baptized without going through Jewish initiation rituals. This was the issue that divided the Early Church as it expanded to the Gentile world. While Jesus did not leave explicit instructions on how to build his Church, his Spirit guides the Church in discerning and carrying out God’s will throughout history.
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