Sent as missionary disciples to transform the world to Christ.
“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. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire, and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you. By this, my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.” __ John 5: 4–9
Jesus Christ is alive. He declares: “And behold, I am always with you until the end of time.”
Matthew 28: 18–20
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.” John 6: 56
In this reciprocity of dwelling, we find there an invitation to know Jesus Christ in his love; this love which made him the Eucharist.
The Eucharist is the Sacrament of the flesh of the Son of Man in its glorious state of his Ascension, a flesh released from all temporal and spatial limitations. This glorified and vivifying flesh is given for the life of the world.
By eating the flesh of the Son of Man, we become what we eat; we receive eternal life.
In the discourse after the Last Supper, Jesus said:
“I am the vine; you are the branches.”
A vine has a trunk and branches.
The branches constitute both the vine and the trunk.
No doubt, a broken branch, separated from the vine is nothing more. But in the vineyard, it is the vine.
It is the vine that the grapes never grow except on the branches, not on the trunk.
The vine being for the grapes, we are necessary for the vine.
Saint Paul uses a different comparison.
Christ is the head of a body of which we are the members.
A body with only one head would be imperfect.
Members of Christ, we are necessary for Christ.
Thus members of the Incarnate Word, tomorrow we will enjoy the eternal and infinite happiness of the Word.
This is a supernatural truth, which no philosopher could ever have guessed. The Word Himself had to reveal it.
Supernatural truth. But also a supernatural revelation.
All supernatural truth has a natural foundation.
The natural foundation of the vine and the Body of Christ is human solidarity.
We are mostly dependent on each other and cannot live alone.
Existence, food, clothing, housing, we hold everything from others. At every moment, we benefit from solidarity. Sometimes we suffer from it.
Crossing the street between the nails, protected by a red light, I am knocked down by an imprudent driver. The fault is in him, and I am the one injured. Solidarity.
So there is a lot of suffering on earth.
Love, how can God want the suffering for those he loves?
Incarnate, the Son of Man, healed the sick, made the child the widow was crying alive, multiplied the loaves to save the crowd from hunger for a few hours, changed water to wine to avoid young people married ashamed to refuse a wine they no longer have.
No, God does not want the suffering for us; but, love is not imposed; God cannot prevent the misery. So he allows it, but in God, who turns it to our advantage.
Following the encounter he had made with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, Saul, became Paul, did not stop focusing his thoughts on the one he had met.
Living because of Jesus Christ, Paul sought to know, through the tradition of the Christian community and the testimonies of the disciples, the one who had transformed his existence. Above all, he wanted to understand the purpose of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Paul enthusiastically spread the knowledge he had received from the Savior Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ can’t leave us alone, even a bit instant.
Jesus is present in each human being, even in the worse of criminals.
In the eyes of Jesus, no one is permanently lost. There are only people who need to be found. Jesus Christ urges us to go out looking for them.
If we want to find the Lord, we must seek Him where He wants to meet us and not where we want to find Him.
“We can find the Shepherd only where the sheep are lost.” (Pope Francis)
We are all called to be Spirit-filled disciples, sent as missionaries to proclaim the Good News of salvation everywhere, unto the ends of the earth. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the world as a witness to all nations.
For us, the challenge and responsibility are to be there to ensure that the Gospel reaches and touches the hearts of every person.
The expression “ends of the earth” includes the so-called ‘digital continent.’ People are interconnected all around the world in the context of social networks. This digital environment is not purely a virtual world; it is a network not of wires but people; it involves real men and women, especially the young people who bring with them their hopes, their sufferings, their concerns and their search for what is right, beautiful and kind; they are living there, hundreds of millions.
We have a precious treasure to pass on, a wealth that brings light and hope. The Spirit-filled disciples must go outside and bring Jesus Christ to others everywhere they are living.
Therefore, we are invited to announce the Gospel to the men and women of today on this “digital continent.” This Good News with which we have been entrusted, is a person, Jesus Christ. We must bring Jesus Christ to others, like Mary, who brought her son into the hearts of men and women.
We contribute to this process of spreading the Gospel through digital and social media in the contemporary language of each culture. We need to rediscover the new words and new melodious accents to express the mysteries of our faith.