Fifth Sunday of Easter (April 29, 2018)
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that He is the true vine and we the branches. Thus, we must remain in Him if we wish to bear much fruit. St. Francis de Sales state that we too must live Jesus in order to advance the kingdom of God in our hearts and in the world:
How happy you will be if in the midst of the world you keep Jesus Christ in your heart! I beg Him to live and rule there eternally. Confidently and sincerely keep up this holy pursuit of living Jesus, for all true peace finds its source in His way of truth.
If Our Savior is to reign in our heart so that we may bear much fruit, then there are some things we must observe. The first thing in the morning is to prepare your heart to be at peace. Ask for God’s grace, and offer to God all the good you will do during the day. In this way you will be prepared to bear with peace and serenity all the pain and suffering you will encounter during the day. Then take great care throughout the day to frequently call your heart back to that peace. At every moment give the very heart of your heart to our Savior. You will see that as this divine Lover makes a home in the center of your heart, the world with its emptiness and meaninglessness will leave.
This is a huge undertaking but a generous person can do it with the help of the Creator. Yet it is impossible to have your soul so totally in hand right away. We have to put up with others, but first with ourselves. Good heavens! What makes us think we can enter into a state of interior rest without going through setbacks and struggles? If you ask God for patience, and strive to practice it faithfully, God will give it to you. But most of all don’t lose heart. Be patient. Meanwhile, do all you can to develop a spirit of compassion. What matters most is that we do faithfully all the things we need to do to advance the kingdom of God in our hearts. Then we can bear much fruit in the world.
(Adapted from Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal…. J. Power & W. Wright, Ed; Spiritual Directory, L. Fiorelli, Ed.)