Written on: April 27, 2021
Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 2, 2021
Submitted by Mimi Palkovics, GNSH Associate
In the reading from Acts for the Fifth Sunday of Easter it appears the soldier Saul, on his way to Damascus to continue to persecute Christians, had a vision! Jesus came to him and asked, “Saul, why do you continue to persecute me?”
Now Saul was very aware of the story of this very holy man, Jesus, but never did he think that Jesus would intervene in a moment that would change his life forever!
Often, when we listen to the readings we reflect on our own path in life. The difficulties the trials, the rejection. What sustains us in these times when our hearts are broken and our spirit is crushed? No eraser exists that can remove all the damage or the memory of pain, except for the seed of faith planted at birth, tying us to the very heart of Jesus.
Never could I have ever believed that my family could be compromised and divided. The marriage of my son and daughter-in-law was collapsing and could not be repaired. My husband and I tried everything. We prayed so hard for a reconciliation, but it was not to be. We were blamed for interfering. Consequently, the past twelve years have been years of silence between us and our son.
St. John writes, “God is greater than our hearts and knows everything . . . we have confidence in God and receive from Him whatever we ask.” (1 John 3:19-20)
In our despair we turned to God in prayer:
“Fill us with strength and courage to place this brokenness before the awesome compassion of your love, dear Jesus. Help us to let go, to forgive, and to trust in your merciful love and the ability to heal all the hurt. Dear Father with the utmost confidence we place our lives in your hands, we ask you to heal us according to Your will. Amen.”
This week’s Gospel reading comes from Jesus, himself. The parable of the vine and the branches has a powerful impact of connection. Jesus speaks of how united we are, He is the vine and we are the branches. We are connected to God and each other at every moment of our lives. Connected to Him, we can make a difference in this world through Him.
Over the years we have realized how the wonderful gifts given to us have created many happy memories. Our ten grandchildren are growing on the vine and bearing much fruit. Each child is a blessing and connected to Jesus the vine. The love and power of life flows into them and through them. Jesus is alive in them as they grow in compassion and humility.
None of us are perfect persons. We all need pruning in our life. God will prune us well; we just need to be open to the fruits of the pruning.
“There are two kinds of love: we love wise and kind and beautiful people because we need them, but we love (or try to love) stupid and disagreeable people because they need us. This second kind is the more divine because that is how God loves us: not because we are lovable but because He is love, not because He needs to receive but He delights to give.” — C.S. Lewis, Collected Letters Volume III.
Featured photo courtesy of Summertrain/Unsplash