A Basic Lesson: Staying Connected

May 17, 2017 – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.  Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (15:1-8)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.

You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

 

Reflect: Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit. We can pretend that we don’t need God, but if we try living for one nano-second without him we won’t have life. So, Jesus’ message in today’s gospel is simple: “without me you can do nothing”. The apostles understood this. Everything they did; every word they preached was done in the name of Jesus. They weren’t independent agents creating their own church and promoting their own ideas. The Saints, even if they’ve struggled to get there, learned that their lives were fruitful, satisfying, and peace-filled when they were most connected to Jesus, the Vine. Jesus is inviting us to abide in him; not to take away our free will, but so that we might flourish, so that the people we encounter may be exposed to and invited to the fullness of life, and so that all honor and glory return to the source of all that we are – the Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit Advocate. Let’s stay connected today to the source of our life, Jesus the Christ!  Without him we can do nothing.

Questions: Can I flourish in life without staying connected to Jesus? Do I offer Jesus everything about my day ahead so that in all things, in all ways and at all times I can stay connected to his grace, love and mercy?  When I begin to stray away and find myself disconnected from Jesus, can I pray: “Jesus abide with me and help me to stay connected to you at all times”?

Pray: Loving God, you are the source of all that I am. Direct my heart to you, and help me to refrain from straying from your life, your grace and your mercy.  May my life flourish in making you known to others. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Let my mouth be filled with your praise, that I may sing aloud; my lips shall shout for joy, when I sing to you.  Alleluia!

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