Somebody once compared a Christian to a basketball player. “To be a good player,” he said, “it’s not enough that you know how to dribble or avoid getting fouls. What matters most is to be able to shoot, to make points, and to be productive.”
The great St. Thomas Aquinas said that we are, by nature, religious beings. We come from God, and we return to God; we can only live the fullness of human life if we freely bind ourselves with God, if we read our life’s situation in the light of God’s kingdom, and if we choose to love God above all things. Real happiness results when there is a communion of God in our lives.
Today’s gospel brings us a narrative in which Jesus conveys his teaching symbolically. Jesus draws us a picture of a vine and its branches. He said: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.” What does “to remain in Christ,” mean? “To remain in Christ,” means:
First, is to listen to Him and keep His words. We can accept Him as Lord and then abandon Him in the midst of difficulties and temptations or place all of our difficulties and temptations on Him. We can refuse to listen to Him at all or we can listen to Him and embrace His words.
Second is to recognize that Christ alone is the real Vine and that without Him, we can do nothing of value to God.
Third is to live in the Church which is the Mystical Body of Christ.
Fourth is to see God in all persons and things, even in our enemies, and those things that we don’t like.
Fifth is to have an active sacramental and prayer life. Do we pray always? Do we regularly go to Mass on Sunday? Do we avail ourselves of the sacrament of Confession?
And sixth is to be convinced that there is a need to prune the structures, methods, approaches, and others that have become old. In other words, we should always be open and ready for the changes in our lives that will help us to remain always with the everlasting: Christ, who himself, is the vine.
Let us reflect on all of these my dear friends to see to it that our lives will always remain in Jesus Christ who is the vine.
P.S. # We have begun this beautiful month of May with the May Crowning. On Saturday, May 1st we celebrated Mass in honor of our Blessed Mother and symbolically crowned The Blessed Mother statue in our sanctuary. Hopefully, this month will bring us closer to Mary, Jesus’ Mother, and our Mother. Why should we develop a strong relationship with Mary in our spiritual life? Because, knowing her better, and loving her more, we will know Jesus better and love Him more! Where Mary is, Jesus always will be there!!!
# You are all invited to pray the Rosary with us every Wednesday of May at 8 pm outside of the church, by the grotto of our Blessed Mother. Bring your intentions, your chair, and rosary and bless God with us through the Blessed Mother Mary. Every Rosary will be livestreamed on our Facebook page.
# Congratulations to our First Communicants: Ella, Edgar, Callie, Addison, Rilya, Aaron, and their families! I’d like to ask you to pray for these children who, for the first time, received Jesus in His sacramental presence this Sunday. May they, through their own prayer and sacramental life develop a deep, strong, and unbreakable friendship with Jesus.
# With a joyful heart, I inform you that two of our parishioners just got married! Magdalena Bresset and Robert Pollock have been united by the sacrament of marriage last Saturday at the Mother of Divine Mercy in Detroit. May God bless them abundantly. May they love, respect, and adore each other for the rest of their lives. May the Blessed Mother intercede for them always before Jesus, her Son. Happy and Holy Marriage to Magdalena and Robert!