Reflections - May 3, 2015

“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.”  Jn. 15:5.
 
To what fruits does the Gospel for this Sunday refer?  It refers to the fruits of love.  If a Catholic Christian wants to “love not in word or speech but in deed and truth” as
1 John 3:18 says he must remain attached to the tree with the “vine” that is Christ alive and risen.
 
We know that in order to bear fruit of Christian love we have to allow ourselves to be transformed by Christ.  Paul, the Apostle, gives us the best example in his life.    His conversion was a call to “have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus”.  Phil 2:5.  Paul was transformed in the suffering and perseverance.  He said to his disciples:  “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”  Acts 14:22.
 
I think that what the Lord means in His Word is that to stay united to Him we have to die to our egos and our childlike ways that are reflected in a disproportionate search: for everyone to love and appreciate me and also to praise me.  If I don’t achieve this then I see others as my rival and I reject them.  We know that any normal person to feel complete needs to love and feel loved.  The difference is that the more they love without worrying above being loved, the more Christian maturity they have.  “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.”  1 Jn. 3:18.
 
The resurrection of Christ teaches us a lesson:  Christ passed from death to life, Paul passed from death to life in his conversion, and the same for you and me if we are capable of loving and forgiving our brothers and sisters “living united to them through the sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist”.