Homily of the 5th Sunday of Easter, 29th April 2018
The liturgy today stresses on the importance of bearing fruit. Jesus compares us to branches on a vine. He calls himself the vine – and us the branches. As part of the vine, we are truly alive and we produce good fruit – we do good things – but when we become separated from Jesus – we begin to wither and can’t really do anything good at all – and if we go on too long like this – we will die. But if we turn back to Jesus in time – and become reattached – and allow his love to flow through us as sap flows the vine and its branches – then we will live and produce the beautiful fruit of good works and praise unto God’s name. The Gospel goes on to speak about bearing fruit. If the branch is united to the vine, it bears much fruit. If the branch is not united to the vine, the branch will wither and die and there will be no fruit.
In our first reading (Acts 9:26-31), Barnabas also bears fruit and shows a Christian love that is not just words or mere talk but something real and active when the Church in Jerusalem doubted the genuineness of Paul’s conversion and Barnabas introduced Paul to them assuring them of his conversion. (Some years later (Acts 11:25-26) Barnabas would again introduce Paul to the Church, this time in Antioch from where Paul would begin his preaching journeys. We all know what a difference Paul made to the Church. And it was Barnabas who prepared the way for Paul.) So what a difference it makes to the whole Church when we bear fruit and love with a Christian love that is real and active and not just words or mere talk.
Jesus is the center of our lives holding us together. Jesus asks us to make our home in him so that we can bear fruit. Are we bearing fruit for the kingdom of God? Is our Christian love real and active or just words and mere talk?
God calls us to make His message real in the world. He calls us to be witnesses of the Resurrection. He calls us to bring His Love to the world. He is not calling us just to be in His presence. He is calling us to transform the world with His Presence. Husbands and wives, parents and children, neighbours and friends, priests and laity, all are called to live the Life that matters so completely that others are attracted to that Life. The Life of Christ is a magnet. When people experience this Life in others they want it for themselves. These people, those who turn to God, are fruit. Our union with God draws them to Him. They are the fruit we have been called to bear. We must bear fruits in our homes, in our schools, in our Small Christian Communities.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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