Fifth Sunday of Easter (José Antonio Pagola)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year BLeave a Comment

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Let us not stray from Jesus

The image is simple but powerfully expressive. Jesus is the true vine, full of life, and the disciples are the branches who live off of the sap that flows from Jesus to them; the Father is the vine grower who personally takes care of the vineyard so that it may give abundant fruit. The only important thing is that God’s project of a more human and happier world for all keeps being realized.

The image underscores where the problem lies. There are dry branches through which the sap of Jesus does not circulate. They are disciples who do not bear fruit because the Spirit of the Risen One does not run in their veins. They are Christian communities that, disconnected from the person of Jesus, languish.

That is why a statement laden with intensity is made: a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine; the lives of the disciples are sterile unless they remain in Jesus. His words are categorical: Without me you can do nothing. Is not the real root of the crisis in our Christianity being revealed to us here, the internal factor that, like no other, is tearing down its foundations?

The way many Christians live their religion, without a vital union with Jesus Christ, will not last long: it will end up reduced to an anachronistic “folklore” that does not bring the Good News of the Gospel to anyone. The Church cannot carry out its mission in the world today unless we who call ourselves Christians turn into disciples of Jesus, animated by his spirit and his passion for a more human world.

To be Christian today demands that we experience Jesus Christ in a vital way, that we know intimately his person and have a passion for his project, something not required of a practitioner within a society inside Christendom. Unless we learn how to live off a more immediate and passionate contact with Jesus, the decadence of our Christianity will turn into a deadly disease.

We Christians today live worrying about and distracted by all kinds of issues. We cannot help it. Yet we should not forget what is essential. We are all branches. Only Jesus is the true vine. What is decisive at this time is to remain in him: to give all our attention to the Gospel; to nourish our groups, networks, communities and parishes with the living contact with him; not to stray from his project.

May 3, 2015
5 Easter (B)
John 15, 1-8

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