Today’s Holy Gospel according to John 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” The Gospel of the Lord.
Happy Sunday My Friends,
Joseph’s House is flourishing on so many levels! This week we welcomed 3 more newborn children to their first home, our home, Joseph’s House. Where would they be without this home? One mom would be in a tiny room sharing a bed with her mom and her 18-month-old son with her newborn in a pack and play next to her. Another had no where to go and would be out on the streets with her newborn, premature twin girls. We have another newborn child arriving by C-section tomorrow who came to us with two siblings from an abusive family in an over-crowded flat in NYC. There are also interviews and calls coming in several times a week from moms needing assistance. The need for our home is flourishing and so we must grow in our ability to allow it to do just that.
We are flourishing in our growth as we have added new positions to handle the development within our mission of our ever-expanding Exodus program. This program already provides assistance to moms who have graduated from our home by gathering together for dinners and life-skills. We supply these alumni moms with material needs as well as emotional needs because many times loneliness occurs after leaving the supportive, loving, family environment of our home. Exodus will one day also provide transitional housing as well as assistance with transportation, educational and daycare needs.
We are flourishing in fundraising opportunities as our Baby Bottle Drives are expanding to more churches and places of business. A most exciting development is people now reach out to us to welcome us to speak to their groups rather than having to always seek out opportunities on our own. We are also finding and being awarded new grants and have some new tithing opportunities coming our way.
What has been the catalyst of all this flourishing in so many diverse areas of this mission precisely when most needed? Jesus the Vine is the catalyst. He is the one who long ago planted the seed for this mission in the heart and mind of a great sinner to allow this person and many others to come to understand He is truly mercy and forgiveness and can do impossible works through the most imperfect instruments if only we remain in Him, the True Vine.
One will never starve when grafted to the Vine of Christ. Jesus will supply never-ending sustenance in gracious blessings and answered prayers. One will suffer, sometimes immensely, in their personal lives as they are pruned to perfection and Our Lord removes limbs rooted in pride rather than in Him. As a matter of fact, pruning and suffering in this manner was always an indicator one was favored by God as a disciple in the Old and New Testaments. Just look at what the Apostles suffered to remain one in Christ. Think about what Saul suffered in today's first reading to become St. Paul.
Any pain suffered in the growth of any mission whether physical, psychological or emotional is what is necessary for personal growth and for the growth of the mission. The sacrifices one gives to, through and for Jesus Christ make one more like Him, the Perfect Vine. The pain and torment are always worthwhile, always abundantly fruitful in the ways they bring one closer to becoming the image of Our Lord and Savior.
Ask yourself this question, who or what would you like to reflect when you stand before Christ at your Final Judgement? The values of this world or the Face of Jesus Christ? The only way to reflect the Face of Jesus is through suffering, as He is proof the suffering of death always comes before the glory of everlasting life.
What suffering could be more painful to man than to be considered a withered branch gathered up, thrown into the fire and rejected by Jesus Christ? Absolutely nothing, and for that reason we will always strive to remain in Him and have His words remain in us no matter the cost. As He suffered for us, we are willing to suffer for Him always, in any and every way to build His mission of life. His mission of love. His mission of mercy and forgiveness so Joseph’s House may flourish into perpetuity.
We invite you to join us so we might flourish together, in this growth, in this pruning of and grafting to the Perfect Vine, the True Vine, Jesus Christ. We pray as we travel together down the sometimes rocky road, we will all strive to bear much fruit and become His most joyful disciples so at the ends of our lives we may all find everlasting joy and everlasting life in Heaven with Our Almighty Savior forever!
God Bless you my friends!
Love and Prayers,