From Msgr Shiels' Homily - July 5 2015

What we ask for .......

I asked for strength,

and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom,

and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity,

and God gave me brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage,
and God gave me dangers to overcome.
I asked for love,
and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favours,
and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted,
but everything I needed.

 “Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, 
neither can you unless you abide in me.”  (John 15:4)

Jesus desires that we draw life from Him just as He Himself draws life from His heavenly Father. To abide in Jesus is to be actively connected to the divine life that comes to us from God through Jesus.  By our abiding in Him, we draw life from Him.  And by His abiding in us, Jesus gives life to the world.

Even after a long separation, the life of grace can begin to flow once again when one returns to Him.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation can facilitate the process.  However dead it may be, the spiritual life can be revived.  The life-giving sap of the vine which is Christ can restore our souls and cause our spiritual lives to flourish once again.    

Jesus’ insistence that we abide in Him also shows how important our attachment to Him is for Him too.  Just think about it.  What would a vine be without branches?  What would it produce? If the life of Jesus is to flourish in this world, then Jesus needs us too.  Jesus wants to live in us, not just for our sake, but so that through us He might truly be the life of the whole world.

So, let us cling to Jesus, dear friends, just like the branch clings to the vine.  Each time we celebrate Eucharist, we become one with Him again.  United with Him we can do everything He asks of us, and our lives will blossom and bear fruit as He intended, all for the greater glory of God with whom one day we too shall be glorified.



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Fr Neil

Roman Catholic Church, Mississauga, Ontario

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