Vatican City (AsiaNews)
- "It is essential we always remain united with Jesus, depend upon Him, because
without Him we can do nothing," said Benedict XVI as he explained the parable
about the vine and the branches (Jh,
15:1-8) during today's Regina Caeli before the pilgrims present in St Peter's
"Jesus is God's
real vine," the pope said. "With his sacrifice of love, he gave us salvation
and opened up the path to be inserted in the vine. As Christ remains in the
love of God the Father, so the disciples, wisely pruned by the word of the
Master (cf Jh 15:2-4), if they are
deeply united with Him, become fruitful branches that will produce an abundant
"On the day of
our Baptism," the Pope said, "the Church grafts us as branches into the Paschal
Mystery of Christ, into His own Person. From this root, we receive the precious
lifeblood to participate in the divine life. As disciples, even we, with the help
of the Pastors of the Church, can grow in the vine of Lord bound by his love."
"If the fruit we
are to bear is love, its prerequisite is this 'remaining,' which is profoundly
connected with the kind of faith that holds on to the Lord and does not leg go
(Jesus of Nazareth, New York:
Doubleday, 2007, p. 262). It is essential we always remain united with Jesus,
depend upon Him, because without Him we can do nothing (cf Jh 15:5)."
Him we can do nothing' seems to slay man's freedom. To such a question, the pope
responded by citing John the Prophet, who lived in the Gaza desert in the 5th
century and to whom a Christ-loving layperson had asked the same thing.
"If we incline
the heart toward good and invoke God for our assistance, God will pay attention
to our good intention and bestow strength upon our work. In this way, both are
developed, namely human freedom and divine power. This is how good comes from
God, but it is always accomplished through his saints (cf Ep 763, SC 468, Paris
each one us is like a branch that can live only if, through daily prayers,
participation in the Sacraments and charity, we can boost our union with the
Lord. Whoever loves Jesus, the true vine, bears the fruits of faith for an
abundant spiritual harvest. Let us beseech the Mother of God that we may remain
firmly connected to Jesus and that all our actions have in Him the beginning
and the end."
Following the Regina
Caeli prayer, Benedict XVI reminded the faithful of the VII World Meeting of
Families, taking place at the end of this month.
"First, I want to
remind everyone that a month from now the 7th World Meeting of
Families will take place in Milan, Italy. I thank the Diocese of Milan and the
other dioceses of Lombardy for their cooperation in this Church event sponsored
by the Pontifical Council of the Family under the chairmanship of Card Ennio
Antonelli. God willing, I too shall have the joy of participating when I am in
Milan from 1 to 3 June."
The theme of this
year's meeting is 'The family: work and celebration." For more information on
the event, go to www.family2012.com (in
AsiaNews is one
of the event's media partners.