The Key Ingredient
The Key Ingredient
“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.” – JN 15: 4
I remember when the Ragu Spaghetti Sauce commercial first came out boasting about all the ingredients it contained. Someone would mention an ingredient and the response was, “It’s in there.” The commercial was catchy, and people would often use the phrase, “It’s in there.” However, we never heard what the KEY ingredient was that made everything come together.
As we have listened to all the Easter Season readings thus far from the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of St John, we hear how the growth of the Church took place. Our Church is not just made up of Jews or Gentiles, Men or Women, Wealthy or Poor, Good or Bad. Our Church is made up of all kinds of people and nationalities; that is why we refer to it as the Universal Church. However, what is the KEY ingredient?
As I was growing up, I loved to be in the kitchen and watch my Mom, sometimes my Dad or Grandma, prepare meals. The stories behind the recipes, along with the stories of how they learned from other relatives with regards to how they determined the best way to make the meal, all come together. These stories or traditions is what made cooking fun and interesting. It is why I enjoy even today fixing meals and, at certain times of the year, bringing out some of those old recipes. Not just to prepare meals for family and friends but to also remember and share those times growing up, the stories.
The same can be said regarding how we practice our Faith, how we prepare ourselves to live our life each day. What is the Key ingredient? The readings for this Fifth Sunday of Easter share the KEY INGREDIENT for us, it is Jesus and His gift of the Holy Spirit. From Acts today, we hear how the Church is at peace and growing through the sharing of stories regarding and in the name of Jesus and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. St John’s first letter also gives us this insight when he shares, “Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us.” (1JN 3: 24) Jesus, Himself, uses the imagery in today’s Gospel of how He is the Vine, and we are the branches. It describes the kind of life Jesus can produce in us if we allow ourselves to be united with Him. Jesus says that there can be no fruit in our lives apart from Him. This fruit that Jesus speaks of is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The simple truth is that we either wish to be fruit bearing or non-fruit bearing. There is no in-between regarding this. If we want to bear much fruit, then we must accept and act in accordance with the Faith; believing all that God has revealed in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the teachings of the Universal Church. Otherwise, we will be discarded in the end. Let all we encounter today and, in the days to come, help us to realize that Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, is the key ingredient in and for us. Welcome and allow Jesus to come alive and flow through each of us in order to produce much fruit.
“Lord Jesus, may I be one with you in all that I say and do. Draw me close that I may glorify you and bear fruit for your kingdom. Inflame my heart with your love and remove from it anything that would make me ineffective or unfruitful in loving and serving you as my All.”
May God’s Grace and Blessings Always be with you and yours!! Our Lady of Guadalupe – Pray for us!!
Yours in Christ,
St. Clare of Assisi
Fr. Vincent Nguyen
on Sunday, May 2 at 8:02AM