- "...many have endured great ascetic labors, much hardship and toil for God's
sake; but because they relied on their own judgment, lacked discrimination,
and failed to accept help from their neighbor, their many efforts proved
useless and vain."
St. Mark the Ascetic.
"Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the
King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory." Psalms 24:9-10
- Reading: From the Gospel according to St. John 15:1-14
Dear and Respected Brethren,
As far as the children of Abraham, the Father of all the faithful, Pentecost
was a feast, on the fiftieth day after the feast of Pass over. On such a
feast day of Pentecost only, the early Christians, including the Apostles as
well as Mother of God and other few, were strengthened by God to continue
the mission of the Savior of the mankind and the universe. The Apostles and
others along with the blessed virgin Mother of God had waited for the Holy
Spirit with one accord, as per the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ
prior to His blessed Ascension to Heaven. This is what we are learning in
the first and second chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. Though all
Christians have accepted the Holy Spirit through the Baptism and Holy
Mooron, our life in the world necessitates us to renew the Holy Spirit in us
and to keep it strong and full. Until recent years our faithful were eager
to renew the status of the Holy Spirit in them. But somehow or the other, we
are not so serious about the growth of the Holy Spirit in us. It seems that
our faith and observation of the traditions and rituals are not at all
serious. We all deal with them in a very cold mood. We must have a
self-revival and eagerness to follow the footsteps of our ancestors and
Kindly realize the uniqueness and very sweetness of the language used by our
Lord and Savior, while He is explaining about the relation between Him and
us. When we hear �I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener� we might
feel it as so simple, but in fact how deep are they and their inner
meanings? If we could see a healthy vine plant with lots of leaves and
fruits in our minds, we could realize a lot. The gardener would desire
plenty of fruits on all branches of the plant. In the 2nd verse it is
mentioned that what would happen to the branch that might not bear fruits.
We should not forget the truth that the faithful cannot do anything until
and unless they might stay in our Lord and Savior, like a branch cannot bear
fruits unless it�s connection with the main stem is strong and solid.
Let us see what Lord Jesus, is offering us in verse 8, who only guaranteed
that we could bear more fruits while staying in God the Father. �Herein is
my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my
disciples.� We all must bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit, then only God
the Father�s name will be glorified and we all would be accepted as our
Lord�s disciples. Kindly read a similar exhortation in St. Matthew 5:16. and
Philippians 1:11. Now let us make sure about the number of fruits we have
utilized for the glory of God. Remember that all these fruits and many
others were granted to us free of cost. If our score is a big zero, we must
pray with a mind of repentance �Merciful God, kindly make use of us for your
glory�. We must humble ourselves and dedicate ourselves for His disposal.
Let us try to understand the deep meaning of the 9th verse. Let us try to
grasp the deep meaning of those words. Kindly separate a few seconds to
determine the love we enjoy from our Lord God. Let us try to maintain a
proper record of the love we enjoy from Lord God. Can we forget the
searching, caring and sharing love of our Savior? He wants us to exchange
the same style of love to our fellowmen. Our habitual nature is to say OK
for all sorts of exhortations and to forget/ignore them totally later.
Aren�t we? So let us take a decision slowly but wisely. Let us try to be
grateful to God for all sorts of blessings and graces we do enjoy in every
second. Let us take a decision to be good conductors of God�s love, as the
electric wires do their assignments. Let us also receive more and more love
from God and share them among the needy fellowmen.
In the 10th verse our Lord teaches us the way to remain in His love. It is a
very light and simple thing to obey our Lord�s commandments. What is our
Lord�s commandment? It is to love God and our own fellowmen without
reserves. Our Lord explains about it in the 11th and 12th verses.
Our Lord says that this is the right means to enjoy the complete joy in our
lives. Let us decide to which matter we are giving priority: to God Almighty
or something else. Let the Holy Spirit of God guide us in everyday lives.
God bless us all
Jose Kurian Puliyeril