5th Sunday of Easter | 2 May 2021
“Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.”
~ John 15:4-5a
Brothers and Sisters,
May this Season of Easter continue to bring renewed hope and joy to you and your families! Today, many of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox tradition celebrate Easter Sunday. We continue to pray for our sisters and brothers and all followers of Jesus that we may work together to establish Christian unity.
Today’s Gospel is paramount and central to the teachings of Jesus. Aware that he will soon embrace the cross and his own death, “Remain in me, as I in you. …” is part of his farewell. Jesus wants to make certain that his friends understand, life bears fruit only when we are in communion with the Lord. Staying interconnected to Jesus is the source of life.
Fast forward two thousand years, our call to action remains the same. As his followers, we must stay joined both to our Lord Jesus and to His Body, the Church. While we may feel exhausted or disheartened in the mission to bring the Good News to our neighbor, our efforts to evangelize and bring the love of Christ to the greater community must remain central to our focus. That’s why it’s important to return to Jesus so that he may guide us with a renewed focus for the mission. I encourage you to explore how to remain in him and sustain the journey. Some ways you may find restoration include: look upon Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration, turn to Mary through the rosary, imitate the lives of the Saints, pray daily, return to the Sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist, take a long walk in nature, thanking God for His beautiful creation.
If you have felt physically depleted, visit this six-minute YouTube video on “energy management,” in which Matthew Kelly describes four levels of energy:
(1) depressed, exhausted, burned-out, defeated, overwhelmed
(2) angry, fearful, anxious, defensive, resentful
(3) mellow and serene
(4) confident, joyful, enthusiastic, invigorated
Much advice and strategy have been written about time management. Cultivating organizational skills and learning how to prioritize tasks are important lessons to master. Still, as Matthew Kelly points out, time is not our only limited resource. We need to be aware of what drains our energy, as well as the means by which we renew that energy. Often what we do to relax or rest, fails to recharge our batteries. We can get caught in a vicious cycle of making poor decisions and losing sight of what truly benefits us, improves our lives and the lives of the family and friends who surround us.
At times like those, it’s important to point ourselves back to the source of all life, Jesus! Our relationship with the Lord needs a proper priority and should be at the forefront of our lives. Cultivating a strong and daily prayer life will keep us connected to Christ and guide and support our efforts. Only through reliance upon the Lord will we discover the strength and encouragement to live selfless lives. Let us “remain in him” by connecting daily with Jesus, our renewable and limitless source of energy.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett