Daily Reflection for Wednesday, May 18 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First reading: Acts 15:1-6
Responsorial: Psalm 122:1-5
Gospel: John 15:1-8
Our reflection on Wednesday’s scriptures:
“Remain in me, as I remain in you.” John 15: 4
The stained-glass windows of so many churches and cathedrals can be very beautiful and moving. My wife and I have had the privilege of traveling and seeing the incredible beauty of the windows at San Chapelle in Paris and closer to home the windows of the Benedictine monasteries in St Meinrad and Ferdinand, Indiana. Such beauty inspires me. However, the ethereal nature of these works of art portraying scenes of creation, of the saints, and the life of Jesus can make the spiritual seem other-worldly and beyond our grasp.
Today's gospel is down to earth, sharing through metaphor how our life in Jesus is to be preserved. The people listening to Jesus understood vines and branches; the grapes produced by them were part of their lives. Branches separated from the vine dried up and died as can our spirits when separated from the life-giving source of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I first attended St Monica as a non-Catholic on Christmas Eve, 1989. That night and for many Masses thereafter, I was deeply touched by the faithful receiving of life as parishioners went forward to receive Eucharist. There were old and young, rich and not so rich, various races, different stages of health … all these with hands outstretched to receive Christ. I was deeply moved. Covid created an unwelcome fast from this in-person experience. But this Easter morning, with a full church, resounding music, and people longing once again to be nurtured by the Christ, I was reminded of why I am a Catholic.
Nurturing from the vine goes far beyond the ability of words to describe. But the act of humbly receiving Eucharist with our sisters and brothers has the power to renew our spirits in difficult times. Through the body and blood of our Lord Jesus, we are sustained by the living God in a world needing the witness of our renewed spirits.
Prayer: Spirit of the living God, descend again on me. Help me to hold fast to you—the source of present faith and eternal life. Amen