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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Reflection 2021-05-05 Wednesday Week 5 in Easter

Acts 15:1-6; Psalm 122; John 15:1-8
The Gospel is the same as the one on Sunday where Jesus speaks of being the vine and we are the branches and the Father is the vinegrower. The word abide seems to be repeated many times. Jesus tells us to live in him. What does it mean to live in him? It is to attach ourselves to Jesus. It is allowing Jesus to prune us, so that we can bear much fruit that will last. The proof of us living in Jesus is the abundance of fruit that we bear.
Jesus also promised if we abide in him and his words abide in us, we can ask whatever we wish and it will be done for us. This is not a license to ask for whatever we want. There is a condition to this: we abide in him and his word abide in us. When we bear much fruit, God is glorified.
Bearing much fruit does not mean we are all happy and everything goes fine. The early Church was in conflict as narrated in the First Reading. The issue was whether Gentiles can be believers of Jesus. This was a heated topic that Luke tells us: Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with those who required circumcision to be believers.
But in the midst of confusion, Paul, Barnabas and those of the circumcision party went to the Apostles and the elders to discuss this. This is the way the Church resolves confusion. Not by every person saying what they think, but submitting their opinions to those who are responsible for the right teaching in the Church. While people presented their arguments, it was the Apostles and elders who met to consider the matter.
There are many who distort the teaching of the Church. There are many who openly rebel against the teaching of the Church. For these people and for everyone, there will be judgment. The proof is whether they will bear much fruit or not. We have seen historically, communities where the shepherd are faithful to the teaching of Christ through the Apostles grow and bear much fruit. But communities that pollute the teaching of Christ through the Apostles die out. We do not need to look outside the Catholic Church. Just look at religious communities that have rejected the original gifts of their founders. Their average age is in their seventies or even eighties. Most are dying. Why? Because they did not remain in Christ.
We are not to preach our ideas. We are not to teach what we think. We are to preach the truth as proclaimed by Jesus through his Apostles that had been taught consistently through centuries.
Jesus, keep my faithful to you and to your teaching. Let me live in you so I may bear much fruit that will last, for the glory of the Father.

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