It is 22nd May 2019. We celebrate the memorial of Saint Rita of Cascia who was an Italian widow and later became Augustinian nun. She is patroness for abused wives and mourning women and looked up for her exemplary married life. The readings are from Acts 15:1-6; and the Gospel from John 15:1-8. We need to nib the evil, toxic and poisonous ideologies, relationships and connections as early as possible to bear fruit. The Church had to deal with the issues of faith against popular beliefs. In promoting faith to the people of God, as we see in the first reading, Church always discerned the will of God in prayerful atmosphere and open discussion. Every crisis is an opportunity for clarity not for further confusion. The Church took a position amidst the understanding of treating Christianity as an offshoot, a sect of Judaism openly declaring that Christianity is founded by Jesus offering salvation on Christ’s saving work in His passion, death and resurrection. Our justification comes through the grace we received from Jesus. Only in 70 AD, almost 40 years after the death and resurrection of Christ, that Christians were officially expelled from Judaism. In all circumstances, unity must be upheld over an ideology and the groups that want to control the movements of the Spirit of God in its evangelising activities. A spiritual circumcision of heart benefits the believer more than that of a physical in nature. We must never allow any particular person or group to control the work of the Lord in the Church. The magisterium must discern and enjoys the privilege of helping the faithful with the help of the Holy Spirit and offer guidance and clear-cut solutions for the problem not every person. God guides the Church with the chosen leaders. If necessary, the Church must leave some of the ideals that divide us and to open to guidance of the Holy Spirit. The responsorial Psalm acclaims, “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.” (Ps.122:1). A timely and meticulous pruning is required for the best results. The Gospel invites us to be pruned by the Word of the Lord. “God removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit God prunes to make it bear more fruit.” (Jn.15:2). Our barrenness is due to the stubbornness of heart in refusing to listen to the Word of the Lord. As much as we are willing to be pruned by Him periodically, season after season, we are sure to bear fruit abundantly. Fruitfulness in our spiritual life depends on the way we allow the Word of God to have place in our lives. A timely pruning buds forth new life. We need to prune it with care and allow letting go off of the possible fruit bearing branches in our own understanding. It is by allowing the Lord to abide in our lives, we offer ourselves to be pruned by Him. Pruning is possible with our complete remaining in Him through prayerful communion to discern God’s will for us in our lives. May the Lord allow us to be fruitful by our trust in our leaders of the Church and those who care for our souls. May you have a good day. God bless you.

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