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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

October 5th: St. Mary Faustina Kowalska, virgin

Gospel text (Jn 15,1-8): Jesus said: «I am the true vine and my Father is the vine-grower. If any of my branches doesn't bear fruit, he breaks it off; and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, that it may bear even more fruit. You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you; live in me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you if you don't remain in me. I am the vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not remain in me is thrown away as they do with branches and they wither. Then they are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask whatever you want and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit: it is then that you become my disciples».

«If you remain in me (…), ask whatever you want and it will be given to you»

Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench (Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today is the feast of St. Faustina Kowalska (Poland, 1905-1938), canonized by John Paul II the year 2000. Jesus Christ chose her as His "Secretary" to spread the Divine Mercy Devotion.

"Remain in me, as I also remain in you” (Jn 15:4), Jesus Christ said to us. St. Faustina remained very much attached to our Lord, and particularly associated with His Passion. A faithful image of God’s mercy, Sister Faustina generously offered her life in atonement for the sins of Mankind and for the salvation of souls. God accepted her offer and, in fact, St. Faustina died affected by many pains she patiently and discreetly suffered for years. Towards the end of her life she wrote: «do what you will with me, oh Jesus. Only give me the strength to suffer. Since your strength supports me, I shall bear everything. Oh Souls, how much I love them».

Jesus cannot be transcended in generosity: “if you remain in me (…), ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you” (Jn 15:7). St. Faustina’s love for Jesus was so great that with her suffering she “tied the Lord’s hands”: «once the Lord said to me: “your confidence and love restrain My justice, and I cannot inflict punishment because you hinder Me from doing so” Oh, how great is the power of a soul filled with confidence! » Even entire nations owe their existence to the mediation of Sister Faustina: “I have offered this day for Russia. I have offered all my sufferings and prayers for this poor country. After the Eucharist, Jesus said to me: I cannot bear this country any longer. Do not tie My hands, My daughter”

God has allowed us to know His infinite Mercy: He offers it to us but He does not want to force us to accept it. This is why He needs preachers of His Merciful Love. Today, the Lord also tells each one of us, as He did to St. Faustina: «I have need of your suffering to rescue souls. Join your suffering to My Passion and offer them to the Heavenly Father for the sinners».