The responsorial psalm calls the worshiper to go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. The tribes go up to Jerusalem to give thanks to the name of the Lord. The psalmist rejoices simply because someone said, “Let’s go up to the house of the Lord.” What wonder fills his heart! Our feet are within your gates, O Jerusalem! I could never really understand this until Saturday, April 10, 2010. I am a permanently professed domestic member of the Brothers & Sisters of Charity. Our motherhouse, the Little Portion Monastery, is located outside of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. We have domestic members who live around the world. Two years ago Charity Chapel, the common center, library, dining areas, everything but the homes of the monastic members, burned to the ground. It was in Charity Chapel that I experienced my first Mass. It was there I became a Novice and then made my Temporary and Permanent professions. It was there that I was always greeted with “Welcome home, brother.” I rejoiced when I heard them say, “Let us go to the Little Portion Monastery.” Then it was all gone. Yet, rising from the ashes, Charity Chapel was rebuilt and finally dedicated by Bishop Anthony of Little Rock on April 10th. Only then could I understand the joy of simply having my feet within that church. “Our feet are within your gates, O Jerusalem.” What wonder! What awe! Holy ground!
In the Gospel Jesus tells how we become his disciples: we remain in him even as his words remain in us. When Jesus’ word remains in our heart, then we bear fruit. If we do not bear fruit, we are removed from the vine, from Jesus. If we do bear fruit, the Father prunes us so that we bear even more. Pruning hurts but the alternative is to be cast into the fire. Outside of Jesus, we can do nothing for Jesus is the true vine. Abiding in Jesus we can ask for anything and it will be done for us. Hold on to Jesus, brothers and sisters, even as he holds on to us. If we do this, the Father will be glorified, we will bear much fruit and, by his grace, become his disciples.
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