Modern civilization continues to be torn by violence, division, and destruction of moral and spiritual values. In Church worship, there are lessening numbers. The reality of fallen-away Catholics is a wake-up call to attend to the needs of those in search of credible Christian witnesses and self-sacrificing Samaritans who remain faithful to Jesus in word and example. We have been baptized and confirmed in Jesus to go forward in faith, and rebuild that which was destroyed by sin. Jesus sends us with his redeeming graces to reach out to, and touch our abandoned brothers and sisters in the peripheries. Shall we not respond with renewed willingness to serve in the Lord’s vineyard?
Jesus unceasingly invites us to deeper communion with the Father, and to come to Him who is “the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me” (Jn 14:6). “No one knows the Father except the Son — and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him” (Lk 10:22). In this our present century, Jesus assures us of His abiding presence: “I am with you always until the end of this world” (Mt 18:20) as we continue to spread the good news of God’s Love and eternal salvation. The prophets always reminded the people to return to the Lord in times of sinful abandonment to false gods: “Take courage, my children, cry out to God, for he who sent you into exile will remember you. Thus, as you distanced yourself from God, return to him and seek him ten times more earnestly. For he who caused these evils to fall on you will bring you salvation and enduring joy” (Baruch 4:27-29).
The Holy Spirit will help us to stay united to Jesus and bear fruit, as faithful branches on the vine: “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower… and you are the branches. As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit: it is then that you become my disciples: (Jn 15: 1,5). As disciples, let us remain docile to the action of the Holy Spirit as faithful vines, and in imitation of Mary’s attentive pondering of the word and relationship of love with the Lord. As we mark the month of the Rosary in October, let the chain of beads be as a chain of loving communion with the Father in Jesus through Mary, enlivened by the Spirit who imparts the needed graces to stick faithfully to the Vine, sharing Jesus’ eternal life to all the branches making up His Church on earth.