Dear People of God,
First of all, I thank and appreciate all those who worked for the spring fundraiser for our St. Boniface school children. Many Volunteers, Parents, Teachers, Staff and Students worked with dedication, Zeal and more enthusiasm. I was very much taken up by your hard work and commitment. I think that this year, the entire program of fundraiser was more different and lot of fun than the previous years. I also thank heartily also who supported this fundraiser by sacrificing your time, lot of stuffs for auction and money.
On this fifth Sunday of Easter, the readings emphasize the need to abide in Christ as a condition for producing fruits of kindness, mercy, charity, and holiness. The first reading testifies to the abundance of spiritual fruits yielded by the apostles because of their close bond with the risen Lord. The reading tells us how the Lord pruned the former Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, a fanatic who had persecuted the Church, to produce a fruit-bearing branch called Paul, the zealous Apostle to the Gentiles, entirely dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel. Even Paul’s forced return to Tarsus for a brief period is an example of God’s pruning of the vine to bring forth a greater harvest, namely, the mission to the Gentiles.
In today’s second reading, John, in his first letter, explains that only if we remain united to Christ by putting our Faith in him and drawing our spiritual strength from him, will we be able to obey God’s commandments, especially the commandment of love, loving one another as Jesus commanded us.
In the Gospel, Jesus uses his favorite image of the vine and branches to help his disciples understand the closeness of their relationship with him and the necessity of their maintaining it. In fact, in using this image, Jesus is explaining to them and to us what our relationship with him should be like.
We can learn the following messages for our life from today’s readings.
First, we need pruning in our Christian life. Cutting out of our lives everything that is contrary to the spirit of Jesus and renewing our commitment to Christian ideals in our lives every day is the first type of self-imposed pruning expected of us. A second means of pruning is to practice self-control over our evil inclinations, sinful addictions and aberrations.
Second, we need to abide in Christ and let Christ abide in us: we are called to abide in Jesus as branches abide in the main trunk of the vine, drawing their life from it. Personal and liturgical prayers, frequenting of the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation, daily, meditative reading of Scripture, and our loving, mutual forgiveness exchanged with everyone enable us to abide in Jesus, the true Vine, as fruit-bearing branches.
As conclusion, Christ is the true vine, and we are his branches. As branches crafted on the true vine, we are expected to bear positive and good fruits by abiding in Christ.
Have happy and Blessed Sunday!
Yours in Christ,