MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCASTED LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
" Staying reciprocal between the vine and the branches"
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Today we pray for the students, the students who study, and the teachers who must find new ways to move forward in teaching: that the Lord help them on this journey, give them courage and also a great success.
The Lord returns to "remain in him", and tells us: "Christian life is to remain in me". Stay . And use here the image of the vine, how the branches remain in the vine (cf. Jn 15 : 1-8). And this remaining is not a passive remaining, a falling asleep in the Lord: this would perhaps be a "beatific sleep", but it is not this. This staying is an active staying, and also it's a mutual staying. Because? Because He says: "Stay in me and I in you" (v. 4). He too remains in us, not only us in him. It is reciprocal remaining . In another part he says: the Father and I "will come to him and take up residence with him" ( Jn 14:23 ). This is a mystery, but a mystery of life, a beautiful mystery. This stay mutual . Even with the example of the branches: it is true, the branches without the vine cannot do anything because the sap does not come, they need the sap to grow and bear fruit; but also the tree, the vine needs branches, because the fruits are not attached to the tree, to the vine. It is a mutual need, it is a mutual stay to bear fruit.
And this is the Christian life. True, the Christian life is to fulfill the commandments (cf Ex 20.1-11), this must be done. Christian life is to go on the way of the beatitudes (cf Mt 5 : 1-13), this must be done. Christian life is to carry on the works of mercy, as the Lord teaches us in the Gospel (cf Mt 25 : 35-36), and this must be done. But even more: it is this to remain reciprocal . We without Jesus cannot do anything, like the branches without the vine. And He - let the Lord allow me to say - without us it seems that he cannot do anything, because the fruit gives him the branch, not the tree, the vine. In this community, in this intimacy of "remaining" which is fruitful, the Father and Jesus remain in me and I remain in them.
What is it - it occurs to me to say - the "need" that the vine tree has branches? It is to bear fruit. What is the "need" - let's say it, a little boldly - what is the "need" that Jesus has of us? The testimony . When in the Gospel he says that we are light, he says: "Be light, so that men" may see your good works and give glory to your Father "( Mt5:16). " That is, the testimony is the need that Jesus has of us. Give testimony of his name, because faith, the Gospel grows by testimony. This is a mysterious way: Jesus also glorified in heaven, after passing the Passion, needs our testimony to grow, to announce, for the Church to grow. And this is the mutual mystery of "staying". He, the Father and the Spirit remain in us, and we remain in Jesus.
It will do us good to think, to reflect on this: to remain in Jesus, and Jesus remains in us. To remain in Jesus to have the sap, the strength, to have justification, gratuitousness, to have fruitfulness. And He remains in us to give us the strength to [bear] fruit (cf. Jn 5:15), to give us the strength of the testimony with which the Church grows.
And a question, I ask myself: how is the relationship between Jesus that remains in me and I that remain in Him? It is a relationship of intimacy, a mystical relationship, a relationship without words. "Ah Father, but this, that the mystics do!". No, this is for all of us! With small thoughts: "Lord, I know that You are here [in me]: give me strength and I will do what You tell me". That dialogue of intimacy with the Lord. The Lord is present , the Lord is present in us, the Father is present in us, the Spirit is present in us; they remain in us. But I have to stay in them ...
May the Lord help us to understand, to feel this mystique of remaining on which Jesus insists so much, so much, so much. Many times we, when we talk about the vine and the branches, we stop at the figure, the profession of the farmer, of the Father: that the [the branch] that bears fruit prunes it, and that that does not bear it cuts it and takes it away (cf Jn 15 : 1-2). True, it does this, but that's not all, no. There is more. This is the help: the trials, the difficulties of life, even the corrections that the Lord makes us. But let's not stop here. Between the vine and the branches there is this remaining intimate. The branches, we, need the sap, and the vine needs the fruits, the testimony.
Prayer to make spiritual communion
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already came, I embrace you and I join you all. Don't let me ever separate you from you.