Posted by: RAM | April 26, 2016

Wednesday (April 27): “Remain in me, as I remain in you.”

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Holy Eucharist

Wednesday of Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 287

First Reading: Acts 15:1-6
Psalms 122:1-5: Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Gospel: 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.”
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042716.cfm

Reflection: Why does Jesus speak of himself as the true vine? The image of the vine was a rich one for the Jews since the land of Israel was covered with numerous vineyards. It had religious connotations to it as well. Isaiah spoke of the house of Israel as “the vineyard of the Lord”(Isaiah 5:7). Jeremiah said that God had planted Israel “as his choice vine” (Jeremiah 2:21). While the vine became a symbol of Israel as a nation, it also was used in the scriptures as a sign of degeneration. Isaiah’s prophecy spoke of Israel as a vineyard which “yielded wild grapes” (see Isaiah 5:1-7). Jeremiah said that Israel had become a “degenerate and wild vine” (Jeremiah 2:21). When Jesus calls himself the true vine he makes clear that no one can claim their spiritual inheritance through association with a particular people or bloodline. Rather, it is only through Jesus Christ that one can become grafted into the true “vineyard of the Lord”.

Jesus offers true life – the abundant life which comes from God and which results in great fruitfulness. How does the vine become fruitful? The vine dresser must carefully prune the vine before it can bear good fruit. Vines characteristically have two kinds of branches – those which bear fruit and those which don’t. The non-bearing branches must be carefully pruned back in order for the vine to conserve its strength for bearing good fruit. Jesus used this image to describe the kind of life he produces in those who are united with him – the fruit of “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit”(Romans 14:17). Jesus says there can be no fruit in our lives apart from him. The fruit he speaks of here is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23).

There is a simple truth here: We are either fruit-bearing or non-fruit-bearing. There is no in-between. But the bearing of healthy fruit requires drastic pruning. The Lord promises that we will bear much fruit if we abide in him and allow him to purify us. Do you trust in the Lord’s abiding presence with you?

“Lord Jesus, may I be one with you in all that I say and do. Draw me close that I may glorify you and bear fruit for your kingdom. Inflame my heart with your love and remove from it anything that would make me ineffective or unfruitful in loving and serving you as my All.” http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/apr27.htm  www.dailyscripture.net author Don Schwager © 2016 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: St. Zita of Lucca, Patroness of Domestic Workers (1218-1278)
Zita is a good saint for those of us who sometimes lose a chance to do some good by waiting to do something better.

St. Francis of Assisi was still living when Zita was born to poor, devout Italian parents. From the age of 12 until her death, she worked as a servant for the Fatinelli family in Lucca. She was a hard worker, pious and generous. Although that dedication provoked jealousy on the part of some other servants, Zita won them over by her patience.

As the years passed, she became famous for helping the sick, the poor and the imprisoned. She was regarded locally as a saint soon after her death; that title was officially given to her in 1696. Zita is the patroness of domestic workers. http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1366

More Saints of the Day
St. Adelelmus
St. Asicus
St. Castor & Stephen
St. Enoder
St. Floribert of Liege
St. John of Constantinople
St. Lawrence Huong
St. Liberalis of Treviso
St. Maughold
Bl. Nicolas Roland
Bl. Osanna of Cattaro
Bl. Peter Armengol
St. Tertullian
St. Theodore of Tabenna
St. Theophilus
St. Winewald
St. Zita

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito

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