V SUNDAY OF EASTER
acts 9:26-31; 1 john 3:18-24; john 15:1-8
on tuesday, i sent out the province transfer list by mail and whatsapp. a few hours later, a senior priest told me that he had not received it. he gave me his phone to check. i noticed he was offline; i asked him to switch on his data network or the wi-fi. he switched on the wi-fi but no mail/message came. i checked the phone again. it had not connected to the wi-fi network. once he connected to the network, he got the mail and the message!
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 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 eucharist.
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). his commandment is that we love one another… the way barnabas loved the recently converted paul (first reading) and «took charge of him» when the other disciples found it difficult to accept this former persecutor of christians.
remaining in jesus also necessitates pruning! the FATHER 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?