Connectivity with Christ


A few days ago I went, for the first time, to harvest coffee. The bright green of the leaves and the red cherries on the coffee branches looked like garlands that adorned plantation. And while one picking coffee off the branches, one starts thinking about different things, the mind begins to wander among the memories, then revises the plans of tomorrow, or enters an enchanted forest of fantasies and daydreams. I noticed that we are disconnected from what we are doing, that we are not aware of the present and are asleep.
Then I began to meditate on John 15 ...

Stay united to me, as I remain united to you. A branch cannot give grapes of itself, if it is not attached to the vine; In the same way, you cannot bear fruit if you do not remain united to me.
I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who remains united to me, and I united to him, bears much fruit; because without me you cannot do anything. He who does not remain united to me will be thrown out and dried like the branches that are gathered and burned in the fire.
If you remain united to me, and if you remain faithful to my teachings, ask for whatever you want and it will be given to you. This shows the glory of my Father, in that they bear much fruit and thus become true disciples of mine. I love you as the Father loves me; remain, then, in the love that I have for you.
The branches yield cherries because they are connected to the coffee tree. The disconnected branch cannot give coffee. Jesus is the coffee tree and we the branches, if we remain united to Jesus Christ we will bear many cherries. And so we can show the glory of the Father! Bearing fruit and being disciples of Christ. But how do we apply this to real life? This is an illustration ... How do we stay connected to Jesus?

Jesus is always connected with the Father ... I love you as the Father loves me; remain, then, in the love that I have for you. So we need to be connected with the Father, in constant prayer, never stop praying.

Jesus had to suffer death on the cross to receive glory. He himself renounced his divine privileges, he also annihilated himself as a slave, even; He submitted himself to death, to a death on the cross (Phil 2, 6-11). But God did not let him see corruption but resurrected him: now he lives and reigns forever. Praise, honor, glory to God in the highest! That is why Jesus should remain connected to the Father.

We can connect with Jesus every day when we see him as a working man, an enterprising woman or a poor child, a marginalized person,a persecuted young man, a boy without a future and people oppressed by unfair economic systems.

We remain attached to Christ's coffee tree when we connect with the neediest brothers and sisters. I invite you to read the gospel according to Matthew 25,34-40. This is the experience of meeting face to face with Christ; to the King and Lord of the poor and crucified creation. As Isaiah 58, 6-8 says, the fast I want is this: to open the unjust prisons, make the locks of the stocks jump, let the oppressed free, break all the stocks; share your bread with hunger, host the poor homeless, dress the naked and not care about your brother. Proverbs teaches us: He who takes pity on the poor lends to the Lord; Proverbs 19:17. Thus we build the Kingdom of God, here on earth. Thus we promote true justice. Let's do the following exercise (1) read Matthew 25, 34-40 (2) read Isaiah 58, 6 - 8. Look for the following human rights in these passages of scripture: (a) Right to a nutritious and balanced diet. (b) Right to drinking water. (c) Right to asylum (d) Universal right to comprehensive health care (e) Right to a decent life (f) Right to a fair trial. What other rights can be mentioned?
The gospels show us the way Jesus connects with people: he sees, he hears, and he motivates to overcome his limitations. He reconstructs the destroyed hope and restores their dignity, regardless of whether she is a woman, leper, crazy, blind, deaf, widowed and helpless: in all cases he sees, listens, accompanies, touches, commands to get up and take the stretcher.

In this way he reveals something surprising: God welcomes everyone. He sees, approaches, walks, and listens; beyond political options; beyond religious options; beyond football teams, beyond sexual options or gastronomic tastes ...
This is how the disciple of Christ can imitate his teacher. Go out to meet others: see, listen, motivate, hug, walk, restore dignity. What's wrong with you? Where does it hurt? Where is the reason for your sadness?  Why did you leave your hope hanging ?

As on the road to Emmaus: two disciples had left their crucified hope on the outskirts of Jerusalem. "We expected him to be the liberator of Israel, but you see, three days ago he was crucified." Jesus went out to meet them, explained the scriptures that spoke about Him, then in the afternoon he stayed and broke the bread for them.

This is how the disciple of Christ can imitate his teacher, talk about Jesus; reveal that God is master and lord of creation; and share the table, share the body and blood of Jesus Christ (John 6, 1-70).

However, these relationships are broken, because we put our own interests, our own ideas, our own schemes as an absolute norm. (Genesis 3: 1-4: 15). We disconnect from the branch, we sin against God and against the brother, against the sister. The outcome is death ... and as a consequence oppressed, marginalized, discarded people, polluted rivers, sterile soils.

This is the challenge of the construction of this common house, this building of living stones (1 Peter 2,5; Ephesians 2,20) in which we live. Living stones connect to each other. And we connect to Christ, the cornerstone. The challenge of building this common house, OIKOS, with place for all without exception, without anyone who has to carry marks on the forehead, because they are different, because they are rare. This is the dream of God, the utopia of Jesus. This is the time of OIKONOMY: the Economy, the administration of this common house in which we live. God asks us the same question he asked Cain. What have you done with your brother?
We connect with Christ alive and active in the sacred scriptures. John begins his gospel with a beautiful poem, (John 1,1-14) that compares Jesus to the Word of God. In the beginning the Word already existed, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Let's pay attention when we read The Bible! Jesus speaks directly to us through the scriptures. Thus the Kingdom of God is proclaimed, because if Christ came it is because the Kingdom of Heaven is already among us (Matthew 12, 28; Mark 1,15; Luke 17, 20-21)

Together we constitute the house of God, which is built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. The main stone is Christ Jesus himself. I insist ... we are united to Him and form a holy temple made of living stones for the Lord. Through Christ, we become part of the house where God lives through his Spirit. Thus, although we are many: we are a body in Christ. (Cf 1 Cor 12.27; Eph 2.19-20; Eph 4, 11-13; 1 Peter 2.5; Romans 12.5). Yes, Jesus is present in the life of the Church, in every community gathered around his table.

Jesus says: “If someone loves me and keeps my word, my father will love him, we will come to him and live in him” (John 14:23). Let us live the good news of the Kingdom of God! Let us live service, justice, peace with the brothers and with creation. Love, honor and worship God with a clean heart, pure mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. 

In praise of Christ. Amen.



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