Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
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.” JN 15:1-8
Today, Jesus states the importance of staying in the state of grace (no mortal sin) and remaining in Jesus’s Words. Which means we are called to bring ourselves to the Scriptures and immerse ourselves in them along with a daily habit of prayer. John mentions in the second reading today that we are to love not in “word or speech but in deed and Truth”. Then, we remain in His Words. This is a difficult task, but we are chosen to be resolute about it. It is difficult to grow in faith and know Jesus or remain in His Word if we do not read it daily. We have amnesia and forget each day we wake. We are weak, but when we fill ourselves with God’s life in the Word and sacraments, He makes us strong. Then, we remain in Him.
Jesus asks us to empty ourselves and fill up on the Word of God which gives us the grace we need to live like Christ. It is hard to bring ourselves to the Scriptures daily, but all of us have learned that the hardest things in life are the most important. Put a Bible app by your favorite app to remind you to read the Word daily. As we remain in God’s Word, Jesus remains in us.
Next, if we stay in the state of grace we know we are doing God’s will. God put us in this place during this time to be saints. Reminding ourselves of who Jesus is in the Scriptures and how we are to treat others helps us remain in the state of grace. This is doing God’s will. Fr. Mike Schmitz defines this with 3 questions: 1. Are you in the state of grace? 2. Did you pray today? 3. Are you doing your daily tasks (following the 10 commandments)? If we are, then we see the fruits of the Spirit in our life: peace, joy, self-control, charity, kindness, gentleness, long-suffering (patience), generosity, modesty, chastity, faithfulness, goodness.
Are you at peace or always worrying and anxious? Do others say you are a loving person or selfish? Are you kind and gentle or full of anger and judgment? Do you have patience or hate to wait? Are you a generous person or stingy? Jesus promises us we will receive whatever we ask for if we remain in Him and His Word.
Deep down when I think about what I really want, I know it is to be in heaven. I want people to remember me as a loving father and husband who lived life to the fullest. One who loved to talk about God and was full of joy. Patient and understanding with all those God put in my life each day. Most of all I want them to know I was in love with Jesus Christ and this love spilled over into all of my relationships.
Last, Jesus gives us a firm reminder today, “without me you can do nothing”. We must get out of the way and allow God to work in our lives. Jesus always wins, He challenges us to give ourselves to Him totally and completely. In prayer, stop asking and telling, start listening! Jesus knows what is best for us, listen to what He is trying to offer you. There are so many distractions and temptations, but God’s grace is bigger. Choose your happiness! Choose Christ!
Today’s challenge: Read the Bible daily and stay in the state of grace. When you fall, repent in confession, get up brush yourself off and fight harder!
Be a servant, become a saint!
No Bible no breakfast, no Bible no bed. -Fr. Larry Richards
Get caught reading the Bible and saying your rosary.