V SUNDAY OF EASTER
acts 9:26-31; 1 john 3:18-24; john 15:1-8
a few days ago, a friend of mine was sending whatsapp messages. he sent one; and then the messages stopped going. he was wondering why… till he realized that he had lost the wi-fi connection!
one doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to know the necessity of wi-fi or cable or data to stay connected to the internet. or the necessity of electric/electronic appliances being connected to a power-source for them to work.
JESUS uses another metaphor to emphasize the necessity of being connected… to him: «i am the vine, you are the branches… apart from me you can do nothing.»
we receive our life-strength from JESUS. and so we need to stay connected to him. if we break away from him, we cease functioning. the intimate attachment to JESUS ensures our vitality as humans and christians!
how does one remain attached to JESUS?
in three ways: by gathering together in his name; by listening to his word; by sharing his body and blood. and that’s what we do every time we celebrate the eucharist! the principal way of remaining in JESUS is through the eucharistic celebration.
how do we know we remain in JESUS and he in us?
«those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them» (second reading). and his commandment is that we love one another in deed… the way barnabas loved the recently converted paul (first reading). when the disciples found it difficult to accept this former persecutor of christians, barnabas «took charge of him.»
remaining in JESUS also necessitates pruning! the FATHER, the vine grower, waters and tends the vines; he also prunes them so that they grow to their potential.
he prunes everything that resists life, everything that drains our energy and prevents us from becoming who we are called to be.
the liturgy calls us to remain connected with JESUS the vine and to allow the FATHER the vine-grower to prune us that we may bear fruit.
how will i remain in JESUS? what areas of my life are draining my energy and preventing me from being the real me?
in our digital and hi-tech world, we know the importance of staying connected. in our real world, may you and i stay connected with JESUS… and with one another through him.