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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

October 5th: Saint Faustina Kowalska, Virgin
Gospel text (Jn 15:1-8): Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. 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. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

“If you remain in me… ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you”

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

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

"Remain in me, as I 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 for whatever you want 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.”