Branch Office

Branch

Branch Office

I will live for the Lord; my descendants will serve you (PS 22:31).

Who said that?

Perhaps the better way to ponder this would be ‘how often and how many that precede me have pledged their life to the Lord?’

I imagine most made the pledge by way of entering into a holy marriage. Some may even have entered into a professed religious life. Maybe even a few into a clerical state.

But one thing we can be sure of this pledge is repeated over and over again in antiquity and now.

The pope summoned the young boy to come to him. “Come, come to me, Emanuele,” Francis said. “Come and whisper it in my ear.”

Is dad in heaven?

The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought (PS 22:32).

They were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. Then Barnabas took charge of him and brought him to the apostles, and he reported to them how on the way he had seen the Lord and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus (Acts 9:26b-27).

An atheist baptizing all four of his children and raising them as believers in Christ is not an unheard of phenomenon.  It is a story that challenges us and how we think about salvation. Shakes the theological tree, yes? Are there hints of Universalism of Origenists theology? Yes, but no, not really.

Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit that he gave us. (1 Jn 3:18, 24).

Perhaps we should let the Pope embrace the tearful child and we embrace Emanuele with him. May your Dad rest in peace and the perpetual light shine upon him.

Gee-known?

I am sure many of you have similar experiences if you have signed up for these new DNA mapping sites where you get a match on your DNA.

Prompted by an email, checking a match “1,542 centimorgans shared across 62 DNA segments” making for a close relative.

Sounds good but who knows. Except, the name of the person… yes, she most assuredly is related to me.

We share a common heritage in genetics and in faith.

Branch Fruit

Jesus said, “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 (Jn 15:4).”

The gospel reading today sets us to understand several general principles that are not hard to bear. Any fruitfulness we have comes from the Father. We can do no good thing (objective act, true intent) unless we are somehow connected through the vine which is Jesus. Chief among any fruit is love. As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love (Jn 15:9).

The Lord wants us to bear much fruit!

What is fruit anyway?

There are four parts to your fruitfulness.

The seed. The seed contains the potential of germination or sprouting of new life in Christ in your genome. Growing my descendants [who] will serve you.

The fruity flesh. A gift to all creation where Birds of the air and Beast of the field find the continuous gifts of God through you. This is your works. This is a product of your deepest heart’s desire.

The branch. You are where others can rest in your strength. Share their heart break. Let them gain a new perspective. And like a branch you stretch forth yourself that many may find rest in you.

The vine. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.”  This should not give you a sense of constraint but a sense of liberation. Loving in Christ you become a portal to infinite goodness for all you meet “ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.”

5th Sunday of Easter

May your Easter celebration include a deepening of your divine connection, a firm grafting into the vine who give life.

Peace be with you,

Deacon Gerry

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