Jesus said: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who lives in me and I in him, will produce abundantly, for apart from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15). The center of our faith and outreach is the very Person of Jesus. He gives grace and only by grace will our outreach to others be effective. It will be effective to the extent that it is joined with the efforts of others who are Jesus’ disciples, part of the same vine. For each of us to be an authentic Christian means to be an authentic member of something larger than ourselves, a body of disciples filled with the spirit of Jesus.
The bond does not cease when we are impaired by illness or age. All of Jesus’ disciples are branches of the same vine. All share in its spiritual riches and fruits. Being a disciple of Jesus is a continuity with different phases. Our prayer and suffering are part of the experience of Jesus himself. They are part of the experience of his Church.
Lord, it is comforting to realize that what you ask of me is not so much this or that work but rather a willingness to be part of your life and work, whatever my circumstances. Keep my heart at peace.