Fr. Vic Gournas
May 2, 2021
5th Sunday of Easter
Chapter 15: Jesus monologue (speaks with the Fr and with us directly)
I will start with this story - The Dogwood tree & branch.
-How it grew over the rope binding it to the life-giving tree (Vine).
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser.”
OT: God/Vine...Israel/Vineyard....NT: God, Jesus/Vine...Church/Vineyard.
-In the NT Jesus founded One Church, One Faith, One Baptism - Jesus has given us a way to find and know one truth...How to live and find happiness (Bible & Catechism) – Jesus is the Vine that extends God’s eternal & deep wellspring of love that knows no bounds and has no end.
BAPTISM: enter vineyard/Church.
We are grafted onto the vine/Jesus; thus, we participate in:
MUTUAL INDWELLING OF FATHER AND SON...(How Mass/Sacraments):
-Jn uses this image to emphasize our union with Jesus:
-Paul after his conversion (is grafted onto the vine): He can now see!
Reading Acts this week: Paul says that all prophecy points to (Jesus...Logos...Alpha/Omega is the center of all time, space, history...(And today they want to kill him...)
-If Jesus/Church is center of our lives (balance/order/peace/harmony).
-In this relationship...We are given Life & Wisdom...Truth & Fullness of who we are and who we are to become...This brings hope and joy to a confused & struggling world...(Told youth in Confession this)...In Confession Jesus desires to conform us to Himself as we enter the Grace found in this indwelling of life and love of Fr., Son., & Holy Spirit.
In the past throughout recorded time: Human History
-There are times we have follow the world and the times we have followed God.
-The times we have been self-centered...The times when we were God centered.
-The Vineyard & world flourishes when we allow God, not man alone, to till the soil.
-We can choose: The World & death, or the life of the the Vine/Church.
-And those deeply attached to the Vine: desire to keep the Commandments.
-Jn. presents Fidelity not only as a moral virtue, but as a requirement for life: To remain on the vine...& This fidelity is rooted in love.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux & Catherine of Siena: “The more they centered their being on the love of Jesus, the more their hearts grew in love for Holy Mother Church. When we have an intimate relationship with the Bridegroom/Jesus, He will teach us to love His Bride/The Church!
Parting Thoughts - Pruning:
Branches can be cut back so severely that they appear lifeless – Yet the pruned branches will be renewed and grow much fruit (Remember that when you suffer or when you feel barren) – Stay connected to the Vine will offer renewed life/fruit.
-Perhaps a Word of Scripture, a friend, a homily, allowed you insight to grow and bear fruit – The Word OF God is Life Giving and will bear fruit.
-In the Church - Jesus gives us the Sacraments, His very Being, & then says come and remain in me starting with Mass on Sun. & when you are connected to me thru my church I will not let you wither, but I will give you life, love, and happiness - You may suffer for a time, but it can be redemptive, and ultimately you will know life abundantly...Through me, you will know peace/joy.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”...Trust = Mercy = Fruit of the Spirit = Wisdom/JOY!