Vatican City, 3 May 2015 (VIS) – The union of Jesus with those who follow Him, explained through the image of the vine and the branches that Christ presents to the disciples at the Last Supper, was the central theme considered by the Pope during this Sunday's Regina Coeli.
“We can all be joined to Jesus in a new way. If, on the contrary, one loses this union with Him, he becomes sterile, indeed harmful to the community. And to express this reality, Jesus uses the image of the vine and the branches, and says: 'As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches'”. … Through Him – like the sap in a tree – the love of God Himself, the Holy Spirit, passes to the branches; through this parable Jesus enables us to understand the importance of remaining united with Him. The branches are not self-sufficient, but depend totally on the vine, the source of their life”.
“The same is true for us as Christians. Grafted to Christ through Baptism, we have received from Him the freely-given gift of new life; we can stay in vital communion with Christ”. However, the Pontiff emphasised, “it is necessary to stay faithful to Baptism, and to grow in friendship with the Lord through prayer, the prayer of every day, through listening and obedience to His Word – read the Gospel – and participation in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation”, as “if one is intimately joined to Jesus, he or she receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which – as St. Paul tells us – are 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control'. As a consequence, a Christian brings great good to his neighbour and to society. Indeed, from these characteristics, it is possible to recognise who is a true Christian, just as we can recognise a tree from its fruits. The fruits of this deep union with Jesus are wonderful. … We receive a new way of being, the life of Christ becomes our own; we can think like Him, act like Him, see the world and other things through Jesus' eyes. As a consequence, we are able to love our brothers, beginning with the poorest and the suffering … and thus bring into the world the fruits of goodness, charity and peace. … Let us trust in the intercession of Our Lady, so that we too may be living branches in the Church and give coherent witness of our faith, consistency between life and thought, life and faith – aware that we all, according to our specific vocations, participate in the sole salvific mission of Christ”.
Following the Regina Coeli the Pope mentioned that yesterday in Turin the Italian Luigi Bordino was proclaimed blessed. A consecrated layman of the Priestly Society of St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, the new blessed “devoted his life to the sick and those who suffer, and dedicated himself tirelessly to the poorest, curing and cleansing their wounds”.