Fifth Sunday of Easter
“Jesus said to his disciples ‘whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit because without me you can do nothing.’” This is one of my favorite passages in scripture because it has a missionary calling to it. St. John the Baptist says, “I must decrease, so that he may increase [within me].” If we do the Lord’s will and spread the Gospel to those we meet, we will bear much fruit for the Lord.
One day when I was at Walmart, I saw a homeless man eating a sandwich outside. I remembered St. Faustina’s story when she was the porter or gatekeeper at her monastery, and a homeless man came to the monastery asking for food, she opened the doors wide because she could see, with the eyes of faith, that it was Jesus wanting food. After she gave the poor man food, Jesus revealed to her that it was truly the Lord.
Now I know that the Lord would definitely not reveal himself to me as he did with St. Faustina because, well, she was a saint and I ain’t! But I thought if this is one way to bring Christ’s Gospel message to people, then I must give this homeless man a miraculous medal. I told the homeless man “I don’t have any money but I do have this miraculous medal of the Blessed Mother, Jesus’ mom, she will take good care of you.” He looked up at me and smiled and said, “thank you very much!” I saw Christ in him, and I hope, even though I am a weak vessel of the Lord, that he saw Christ in me. In this life, we may not always see the fruit that was born from exchanges like this, but only if we get to heaven we will be able to see what effect that this little exchange had on this soul.
Is there a way you can see Jesus in other people? Can you be a friend to the homeless man? Remember what Jesus also says in today’s Gospel “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 is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
Reflection by Br. Maximilian Burkhart, OSB