Saturday, May 2, 2015

May 3, 2015: 5th Sunday of Easter B

May 3, 2015: 5th Sunday of Easter B
Click to hear Audio Homily
How many of you this past Monday morning held a Rosary in your hands as you huddled inside a bathroom, down in a basement, or inside the innermost room away from the windows? It was a frightening storm wasn’t it, with pitch darkness, howling winds, and torrential downpour? Several of the parishioners told me that they hadn’t prayed so fervently like that before. That morning at a daycare center, children were being moved to a more secure building. A three-year old child said out loud amid this shuffle, “Should we pray?” Another child next to her replied, “Nah.”

Why do we pray? Most of the time, we pray for ourselves or for someone else when we are facing a challenge or suffering. As we pray, we are aware that we are connected to the Body of Christ.  There is no such thing as a solitary Christian. Every Christian is linked to Christ and to all other Christians. This is clear from the words of Jesus: “I am the vine, you are the branches.” This is a beautiful image of closeness and interdependence. But it is also a challenging one. We sometimes don’t listen to the Lord, ignore the help of others, and try to be self-sufficient. Many of you heard about a man who went to Heaven after drowning from a flood. On earth, he had rejected three rescue attempts by boats and helicopter, saying that God Himself will save him. When the man finally sees God, he questions God why He didn’t do anything. Then the man learns the irony: God did try to save him by sending those rescuers, but the man refused to accept.

Are you facing a challenge right now? Have you asked for help, or are you being a Lone Ranger? To refuse help, is like a branch detached from the vine. Jesus said, “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.” We must be careful that we do not confuse false humility from genuine humility.  We may pray sincerely, “Lord, please help me. I’m weak.” But if we refuse help from others, refuse correction, or resist feedback, are we being humble? During this month of May, the month in which we honor our Heavenly Mother, ask Blessed Mother for the grace to be truly humble so that you can remain in Jesus and bear much fruit.
-Fr. Paul Yi