Let us remain in Jesus' love through our thoughts, words and deeds
by Sister Francis Bangert
During these early spring days, our hearts turn to the beauty of flowers, whether a flowering shrub, an indoor African violet, or perky daffodils from the garden. Flowers speak the language of life and love. In times of sickness, death, birthdays, festive events, or ‘just because”, flowers convey unspoken words of heartfelt love, care, support, and sometimes forgiveness.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus uses a botanical image, the vine and the branches, to express an invisible and real truth about the intimate relationship He wishes to share with us. “Remain in me as I remain in you. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.” Jesus uses the word “remain” 8 times in that short passage, so like a good teacher, he repeats the point He wants to make. Webster defines “remain” as to stay, to continue, to last, to endure. To remain in Jesus is to have an enduring connection to Him at the very deepest level of our being, like the branch to the vine. Rooted in the unconditional love of the Trinity, we make visible God’s abiding presence in words and deeds of love.
Watch the evening news for examples of this abiding presence: An 11- year- old raising money to benefit kids with cancer, acts of paying it forward in a grocery store, groups and organizations working together to provide food for those in need, teachers bringing food to the doorstep of their students during virtual learning, speaking out against injustice of any kind, musicians performing individually yet in concert via Zoom to lift heavy, lonely hearts, to name a few.
Guided by God’s Word and nourished by the Eucharistic food that endures, we are continually grafted into Jesus. In God’s garden of diverse humanity, all thoughts, words, and actions of life and love are the fruit that glorifies the Father and makes us disciples. Sing a new song to the Lord ... Jesus is alive in us! Alleluia!