Fifth Sunday of Easter – Cycle B
Reflecting on John 15: 1-8
The branches of the vine should be especially full and beautiful these days. Over forty-three thousand adults entered into full communion with us this Easter. Think of that.
Perhaps it’s because they are getting married and want to share the faith of their spouse. Or maybe a childhood friend introduced them to Catholicism decades ago, and they finally gave in to a lifelong curiosity. Or maybe they, like so many people, long for a deep and beautiful connection with God, and they choose us as their conduits to Jesus the Resurrected One. That’s scary, isn’t it?
But here’s the thing: if the branches are overflowing with new Catholics, and recently-new Catholics, and cradle Catholics, why don’t things seem to change? When the Denver Nuggets are in town, with the capacity crowd of 19,000 roaring the roof off the Pepsi Center, the city knows it. There is an energy that changes the atmosphere of downtown.
Ah, we say. The Nuggets must be here.
More than double that number joined the Catholic Church this Easter, and the Easter before that, and Easters for the last two thousand years.
Where is the pulsing, world-changing tidal wave of joy, and peace-making, and justice-seeking, and outreach to those who are estranged? There are 1.19 billion of us on this planet. Let’s continue to work for the day when people say, “Ah. The grieving are comforted, the hungry are fed, families are happier and safer, and the poor have the good news preached to them. The Catholics must be here.”
In what ways do you work to heal the world?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
Sometimes the problems seem so big that we don’t know where to start. What if we each made a tiny difference to one person each day? How about serving breakfast with a smile and sincere I love to you to a loved one this morning?
Isn’t this what the United States Sisters have been modeling for us for over 200 years? Aren’t we fortunate to have had this force leading the way for us, living the Gospel day in and day out?