Posted by: fvbcdm | June 10, 2014

Feast of Saint Timothy (10 June 2014)

Today I would ask you to think of a vine. A grapevine, or maybe a wisteria vine, or one of the species of ivy that grow on our houses and trees. You know that it has roots in the ground, it has a central stalk or trunk, and then it puts forth many branches up and down the whole length of the vine, from which branches in some cases flowers bloom like the trumpet vine or jasmine, and in some cases fruit develops, as in the case of a grapevine or a mirliton or pumpkin.

As long as each of those branches remains part of the vine, it will do what living branches are supposed to do, but if you prune them by cutting them off of the vine, they die and produce nothing more unless they are then planted to become new vines on their own.

In the gospel, Jesus says to us: I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me, you will bear much fruit. In order to do that, we must remain “in him,” to use Jesus= expression. Now, let’s return to the subject of Pentecost, which we celebrated yesterday. It is clear in the New Testament that Jesus founded a new reality which he called “my church.” He is the head of the church; we are the members, and the Holy Spirit is the soul. The church did not begin to operate until the Spirit came upon it. When the sun rose on that first Pentecost Sunday, the apostles and disciples were gathered behind locked doors in the upper room. The doors were locked because they were afraid that they might be killed as Jesus had been killed, and they were known to be followers of Jesus. But immediately after the coming of the Spirit upon them, they threw the doors open and began to preach very publicly—so publicly, in fact, that on that very first day of the preaching of the Church, three thousand men and women began to believe in the gospel and asked for baptism. The apostles were no longer afraid, but rather, courageous and divinely bold.

We want to be living, healthy, active parts of the vine which is Christ. We want to bear the fruit that he wants of us—the fruit being works of virtue—love of God, love of neighbor, kindness, mercy, helpfulness, justice, the improvement of our world, the solving of social problems that bedevil humankind, especially the poor and downtrodden.

We need to ask ourselves frequently: is the world any better because of me? Is my family any better because of me? My work group? My friends? My social circles? My city, state, and nation? We might not be able to do much to improve our nation other than vote and pay taxes, but as the circle narrows to our own family and friends, we can be much more influential and make a greater impact. Our Lord asks that of us. We want to be “possessed” by the Holy Spirit so that He can use us to accomplish his own good purposes.

On Pentecost we prayed: Come Holy Spirit, FILL the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in us the FIRE of your LOVE. Do we really mean that? Do we try to bring it into reality in our lives? Let’s examine ourselves on that point often. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you, Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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