Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 3, 2015 – Year B
Readings: Acts 9:26-31 / 1 Jn 3:18-24 / Jn 15:1-8
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
As we all know, we are living in a wireless world. Everything seems to be wireless. This microphone on the lectern is not wireless, but even if I step away from that microphone, you can still hear me, because I am using a wireless microphone on my neck. Even the microphone that Phil [choir member] is using is wireless, so he can go around the church and you can still hear him.
We have cell phones, and they’re all wireless. We have wireless Internet, wireless TV, or Direct TV. On the island where I grew up, they don’t even have landlines any more. Even in this area, there are people who don’t have landlines any more, because we are using cellphones. Using wires and cables to get connected is slowly becoming a thing of the past. However, making a connection, as we also are aware of, is as old as humanity and as old as history.
In today’s gospel, the Lord Jesus said: “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Without Me, you can do nothing.” He used this analogy during His time because He was talking to people who actually could see vines, grapevines and all sorts of vines every day. But perhaps in today’s day and age, if He’s going to talk to young teenagers who are growing up in a metropolis or big city, who have never been in a vineyard, maybe Our Lord might use a different analogy. Maybe He could say: “I am your cell phone carrier, who owns U.S. Cellular, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and all the cell phone providers in the world, and you are the cell phones. Without Me, you are useless.”
My cousin in New York gave his son a new cell phone for his birthday. But he said: “As for your provider, you’re on your own. You have to work to be able to pay for your own service.” The good news for us gathered here today in the sanctuary of Holy Name of Mary is that, by virtue of our baptism, we always have a wireless connection with God. And He always has a signal, anywhere in the world, with no roaming charges. And most of all, the service is always free. Most people unfortunately forget to use this privilege, which we call prayer.
Yesterday, for the entire morning, our liturgical ministers here in Holy Name of Mary gathered together here in the sanctuary and at McNally Hall, and we talked about prayer. Prayer is not only crying out loud to God [sound of baby crying], but prayer is just being connected to God wirelessly all the time. Putting ourselves in God’s presence is a prayer. Listening to God’s words is a prayer. Thanking God while watching the beauty of His creation is a prayer. Just being aware of His presence, twenty-four hours a day, is a prayer. It is why St. Paul could say: “Pray without ceasing.” But as we also know, it is a lot easier said than done.
In the gospel, Jesus said: “If you remain in Me, and I in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you.” In the second reading, St. John the Evangelist gave us the formula on how to remain always with God, when he said: “Those who keep God’s commandments remain in Him, and He in them.”
My dear brothers and sisters, let us ask the Blessed Mother to intercede for us. She is our mother; she is our patroness. Let us ask her to help us keep God’s commandments, so we may always keep our wireless connection with God active.