Pope: remaining united with Jesus for without him we can do nothing, Milan meet approaches
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 Square.
"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 harvest."
"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)."
This 'without 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 2002, 206)."
"Dear friends, 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 Italian).
AsiaNews is one of the event's media partners.