Thanks to all who make this radio broadcast possible, today Sunday May 2, Fifth Sunday of Easter. We listen to the Gospel according to Saint John chapter 15 verses 1 to 8.
Jesus, using a comparison, as is his teaching style, speaks of himself as the true vine. This is an image widely used in the Old Testament to describe the people of Israel, many times unfaithful to the Word of God, a people who forget the loving care of Father God. The vine has a trunk, branches and fruits, like many fruit trees. We contemplate a mango bush, a strong trunk, many branches, and from them a kind of vegetal thread where the mangoes hang. Jesus Christ is the vine, the trunk. The sap runs through the trunk, the life of the plant. The branches of many fruits are praised, admired. The owner of the bush knows how many fruits, how many grapes, how many mangoes he produces each year and he recounts it with joy and happiness. When there are dry branches, which do not produce, the owner cuts these branches so as not to damage the others, and normally other new branches come out, full of vigor and there are new and abundant fruits. Jesus Christ is the trunk, we are the branches that bear fruit. If we are united like branches to the trunk of Jesus, if the word of God runs like sap within us, there is life, there are good feelings, there are good thoughts, there are good actions, there are numerous fruits of love. If the sacraments that give spiritual and eternal life are nourishing our person, if the life of baptism, if the cleansing and pruning of confession, if the sap of communion runs within our being, if the prayer of praise, supplication and thanksgiving every morning, every afternoon, every night is present in our lives, nothing and no one will separate us from the love of God and good works will multiply day by day. The words “be united” or “abide” are repeated several times in this Gospel passage. If we are united to Christ, no hurricane, no temptation, no fear, no disease, no conflict will separate us from him.
We thank God for so many people who are united to Christ and remain in his love. We give thanks for the priests who have been united to Christ the Priest for more than 50 years. Father Manuel Uña, 62 priestly years; Father Fernando Mayoni, 61 years of priesthood; Monsignor Alfredo Pettit, 60 years of priesthood; Father Félix Padrón, 57 priestly years; Father Arturo González, 57 priestly years; Father José Serafín Anaya, 56 years of priesthood; Father Joan Rovira, 55 priestly years; Father Luciano Borok, 54 priestly years; Monsignor Enrique Serpa, 53 priestly years; Father Ambrosio Sanabria, 52 priestly years; Father Ramón Espada, 51 years of priesthood; Monsignor José Félix Pérez, 50 years of priesthood.
Let us ask them how they manage to remain united to Christ with growing love.
We also know many couples who have been married for 50 years. Those who have been married for 2, 4, 8, 10 years, ask these couples how to live in faithful love, how to remain in this love and achieve fidelity of countless years.
There are children, adolescents, young people, adults who remain united to Christ. For them, we give thanks to God and feel impelled and encouraged to imitate this fidelity that always grows in the following of Jesus Christ.
Grandparents and grandmothers, remain united to Christ and pass on the wisdom of Christ, the life of Christ to his grandchildren. In the year 2070 it will not matter if you had a car or not, if the house was good or not, if you had money in the bank or not, if you were professionals or not. However, the world will be better because you were an example and a teaching in the lives of your grandchildren, who in the year 2070 will be grandparents.
Pope Francis asks us that in this month of May the whole Church may invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the end of the pandemic and, in a particular way, he invites us to raise supplications for those most affected. Every day of the month of May, according to a calendar with specific intentions, all the shrines of the Virgin, scattered throughout the world, united in a communion of prayer, will direct their invocations that, like the fragrance of incense, will rise towards heaven. Thirty Marian shrines, one per day, will lead the rosary for the whole Church and offer the faithful a series of moments of prayer to live throughout the day. The 20th will be from the Sanctuary of El Cobre. At the time that best suits each family, we join the universal Church. We light a candle or oil lamp and pray the rosary with the intention of ending the pandemic. Each day there is a particular intention. Today, May 2, we pray for those who could not say goodbye to their loved ones at the time of death and we do so together with those who pray throughout the world. To help us pray with devotion, each day this week, let’s choose a phrase from the Hail Mary and repeat it many times a day, let’s reflect on what that phrase means and by praying the Hail Mary we will have a spiritual richness that will help us to pray, not of a wheelbarrow, but with a greater and deep devotion. Today the prayer is directed from the Shrine of Jesus the Savior and Mary the Mother in Nigeria. If you want to have all the prayer intentions proposed by the Pope for this month of May and the shrine where people pray especially, ask for it by calling 78624000.
The entire New Testament tells us of the joy that is typical of this Easter season. The word of God says: “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” Luke 1:47; “I announce a great joy to you, a savior has been born” Luke 2; “Rejoice that his names are written in heaven” Luke chapter 10 verse 20; “All the people rejoiced with the wonders that Jesus did” Luke chapter 13 verse 17: “I tell you that the angels of God rejoice when a sinner converts” Luke 15:10; “But again I will see them and your hearts will rejoice and no one will be able to take their joy from them” John chapter 16 verse 22; “The disciples were glad to see the Lord” John chapter 20 verse 20; “Live joyfully in hope” Romans chapter 12 verse 12; “God loves him whom he gladly gives” Second Corinthians chapter 9 verse 7; “Rejoice to the extent that you participate in the sufferings of Christ so that you also rejoice, full of joy, in the celebration of his glory” First Peter chapter 4 verse 13; “For this reason God anointed you with the oil of gladness” Hebrews chapter 1 verse 9; “Let us rejoice because the marriage of the lamb has come” Revelation 19 verse 7; “Rejoice always in the Lord” Philippians 4: 4; “Rejoice in that day, when they excommunicate you and curse, for the reward will be great in heaven” Luke 6 verse 23; “The kingdom of God is justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” Romans 14:17.
Next Sunday, May 9, we celebrate Mother’s Day. If you would like a prayer for her deceased mother, say her name and we will send you a prayer for her. If you want to congratulate her mother, tell us her name and we will send her a message of gratitude for such a beautiful motherhood.
We unite ourselves to the life of Jesus Christ, to the sap of Jesus Christ with spiritual communion.
The blessing of almighty God, Father, son and Holy Spirit descend on you, on the sick who are in hospitals and in your homes and remain forever. Amen.
Below we offer in full the address of the Archbishop of Havana, Cardinal Juan de la Caridad García.