To Bear Fruit that Will Remain

A mother of several small children approached the Sacrament of Reconciliation and confessed to the priest her constant frustration about the behavior of her children. She was very discouraged with her motherhood and felt like she was not a good mother. She wondered if even something of what she was teaching her children was getting through or not. Her confessor offered her spiritual direction using a passage of the Gospel according to Saint John that we hear at the end of the reading of the Sixth Sunday of Easter: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another” (Jn 15:16-17).

The priest told her: “You have decided to follow Christ and he has chosen you for this; he will not abandon you. He chose you to raise these particular children and what they need from you is your love. The Holy Spirit will accompany you and he will give you the gifts that you need. You will lay down your life for your kids out of love, and right now while they are young they will not appreciate it; but when they are adults and they have their own children, they in turn will lay down their lives for their children out of love; and in that way you will have bear fruit that will remain.”

Sometimes we need to be encouraged to carry on with our daily struggles; but more than that, we need to be reminded that it is not through our own strength that we will bear fruit. As St. Paul assures us in the readings from the books of Ephesians and Corinthians that we read on days of the Ascension and Pentecost: we have received the grace according to our call and the Holy Spirit has given gifts to all of us, through our Baptism. As far as we allow the Holy Spirit to act, through us, the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, will be born in our lives.

In our current society is it very easy to be discouraged when we compare our gifts to the gifts of others. We look at social media like Facebook or reality TV programs and we think that everyone else is better or they are happier than we are. As human beings, we all go through difficult moments; but almost no one posts on Facebook what is difficult and frustrating in their lives; on the contrary, they post what is the prettiest and the most flattering. On the other hand, and even more important, our gifts are blessings from the Father and, as such, they are not to be compared, but rather to be received with joy, humility, and gratitude.

Let us not be fooled by the things of this world. God called us and gave us the gifts that he knows we need, to respond to our own call, whether that is as a mother, father, carpenter, administrator, priest, teacher, or something else. Every one of us is an important member of the Body of Christ. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to act in us, so that we may bear fruit that will remain.

Source: Nuestra Parroquia