In this Sunday’s (May 6, 2012) Gospel, Jesus proclaims “I am the vine, you are the branches” and He calls us to “remain in him.”
What do we do to remain in Jesus?
It begins with coming to Mass but it does not end there. To ‘remain in Jesus’ requires more than an hour a week. For me, remaining in Jesus involves a desire to constantly be aware of His presence in our lives. It is to live with an attitude of gratitude acknowledging the good things that God has done for us.
For me, remaining in Jesus also means that we seek to learn more about what Jesus teaches, how He calls us to live, and to strive to deepen our relationship with Jesus. Some people seem content just to take a minimalist approach with Jesus. They want to do just enough to get by.
For me, to be a minimalist is not enough, meaning if you desire is to do just enough, then you aren’t doing enough. I want to deepen my own relationship with Jesus. Some of how I do this is my ministry. Sometimes just seeing the faith of other people (especially in difficult moments) inspires me in my own faith. Preparing homilies helps be grow in my own faith. For instance, for a typical Sunday homily, I began reflecting on the readings on the previous Sunday afternoon. I spent time reflecting on the readings everyday and look at commentaries written by biblical scholars to find what God is saying to you and me.
I also like to read and most of what I read is theology magazines and books. When people hear that I like to read theology material, they sometimes ask if I ever read for fun. Occasionally I do read a mystery or spy novel for fun but reading theology is relaxing and enjoyable for me. From reading, I also grow in my own faith. Of course, it also helps me in my ministry. I spent seven years in seminary, six of it in full-time studies. I still feel like I just know the time of the iceberg so I want to learn more. I read theology not because I have to but because I want to.
However, I know reading isn’t for everyone. What do you do to remain in Jesus?