“I Am The Vine…”

St. Paul writes, “Brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure…”

jesus-vine-branch-clipart-1Someone says, “Life is so complicated,” which it is not. Another declares, “Life is overwhelming,” turn off your cell phone and TV and see what happens. A third person sighs, “Life escapes me,” it probably has because you’ve haven’t embraced it. (Still living in your parent’s house at thirty-years-old is your first clue.)

Life. Decisions. Directions. Re-directions along with rewinds (that’s called “Confession”) and fast-forwards (which is called planning ahead and living God’s mission for you.)

St. Paul continues, “Whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise…”

None of us own a vineyard unless you live on Pasadena Blvd, but all of us have a growing vine that begins with God, grows into friendships, develops into jobs and careers and then cements itself into a lifelong commitment – lived out as best we can as people of God.

It’s that easy, and it’s that complete. Dwelling too much of only one part of the vine is to deny ourselves of the immense divinity that touches every part of our humanity.

This is not brain surgery folks. If it were, then I’d not be one telling you about it. It is a fragile, growing vine that needs water, attention, sunlight and God’s smiling face to produce whatever it is that you build.

Go ahead and see your life connected to a vine. But remember that you are not the vine. You are a part of the vine. Your mother may have told you that you are the vine, but believe me, you are not the beginning and end of “vineness.” Those people who hold you back – name them in your hearts; don’t prune or hoe them, they will slowly die off by themselves. To those who support you in genuine goodness and sincere honesty – water those folks at least once a week and thank them in prayer or in person.

St. Paul then says, “Think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me.”

My six months of unemployment caused me great personal reflection and prayer. In February, I drove to Holy Hill to visit the basilica. It was a warm day, driving there with the top down. I walked into the church, knelt down and only said, “Well, God?” I got up and walked out. In June, I returned to the basilica on a beautiful “top-down” day. After hearing about my future assignment at Christ King and St. Bernard parishes, I again knelt down and said, “Thank you.” Got up and left. Now, I’m not that spiritual a person. Both visits were unscripted and unplanned. It just felt genuine and right. Only those four words kept me connected to this amazing and mysterious and surprising vine that we call faith.

Turn all your doubts and anxieties into a profound offering to God. And, that’s all right because the vine is God’s strength. God is the vine, and we’re but a mere piece of fruit waiting to ripen. We ripen and re-ripen again at every age. And mature we will, with all the grace and support of our strong vine and our vine owner, a loving God.

St. Paul concludes by saying,
“Then the God of peace will be with you.”

So says St. Paul. So says all of us at Christ King parish.

Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS. Great Gift Ideas.
All available on Amazon.com
“Soulful Muse,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
Living Faith’s Mysteries,”
inspirational reflections on the Christian seasons
of Advent/Christmas & Lent/Easter
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
“Letters From My Cats,”
a collection of letters written by my cats over twenty years
“Bowling Through Life’s Stages with a Christian perspective,”
Bowling as a metaphor for religion and growing up

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. He is associate pastor of partnering parishes, Christ King and St. Bernard parishes in Wauwatosa, WI.
This entry was posted in Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “I Am The Vine…”

  1. David Gawlik says:

    local parishes you so very well serve – they are bright lights for everyone.

    Be well,

    David

    Caritas Communications 1025 West Glen Oaks Lane, Suite 106 Mequon, WI 53092 414.531.0503 dgawlik70@gmail.com

    >

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s