Gospel Reflection: 5th Sunday of Easter – May 3, 2015

5th Sunday of Easter – May 3, 2015



Slide4The lunar module Eagle, carrying astronauts Aldrin and Armstrong, landed on the moon July 20,1969. After the successful landing, Aldrin took time to give thanks prior to walking on the moon. He brought out this sheet of paper with his prepared message and contacted home base. His message went:

Apollo Buzz Aldrin-communion-1a

“This is the LM pilot. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever, wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours. And to give thanks in his or her own way.”

He kept this secret for a long time because of a lawsuit brought by Madalyn Murray O’Hair over the reading of Genesis on Apollo 8.

aldrinHe describes what he did next: “I poured the wine into the chalice…. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon and the very first food eaten there were communion elements.”

0 apollo 11 breadJust before eating and drinking the elements, Aldrin read this passage from the Gospel according to John:

Apollo Buzz Aldrin-communion-2a“I am the vine, and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.”

Commenting on his Communion experience alone on the moon, Aldrin says, “I sense especially strongly my unity with our church back home, and the Church everywhere.” (Source: Guideposts Treasury of Hope)

For, indeed, we, as Christians, remain united and connected to Jesus by three ways, in particular:

Slide61) By gathering in His Name. Jesus told His disciples, “Where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.” Mt 18:20 When we gather in Jesus’ Name, we have his promise that he’s there with us.
✓Gather your relations in His Name. Gather as a family, as friends, siblings, in His Name. Pray together. Create occasions where prayer may be shared.

Slide72) By Reading and Explaining His Word. Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever listens to you listens to me.” Luke 10:16 When we hear the Gospel read and explained, we have Jesus’ promise that we listen to him.
✓ Be a part of a Bible sharing and study group if you can. Read the Bible on your own, in your own free time and pace. Live the teachings you gather and learn from our lecturettes.

Slide83) By Eating and Drinking His Body and Blood. Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I live in him.” John 6:56 When we share the Lord’s Supper, we have Jesus’ promise that he’s united with us.
✓ Don’t give up your Sunday worship for anything in the world. The Eucharist is the highest and noblest form of connecting and relating with God!

Slide9In the early days of the Berlin Wall when emotions were still very much on edge and hostility was running high, truckloads of garbage were dumped over the wall from the eastern sector onto the western side. Everyone in West Berlin was outraged at such a terrible deed. The topic of conversation on every street corner, in every home, was how best to get revenge.

Slide10Then the word went out from Mayor Willie Brandt that every flower, every petal, every bit of green that could be gathered was to be brought to an appointed spot at the wall.
Then all that beauty and fragrance was thrown over the wall to the eastern sector. And above the wall a great banner was hoisted.

Slide11Slide12As the banner was unfurled, these words were revealed: Jedes gibt, was er hat. (Each gives what he has.) The East German government had thrown garbage; the West German people threw back flowers.

Slide13What do you have to give? What fruits are you producing? Let us remember that the fruit we produce in our lives is consistent with our character. John 15:1-8 gives us the formula for successful fruit-bearing. For a Christian to be fruitful, he/ she:

Must be connected to the right source
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you.”
Keep a right relationship with God. Let Him be the God of your character. Keep to your spiritual devotions and resolutions of discipline.

Must be pruned and disciplined to be fruitful.
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit., while every branch that bears fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
We will become fruitful only as we become disciplined. Pruning is the price for production. What areas in our lives do we need pruning? What habits do we have that are not productive?

 Must realize that God’s purpose for his children is fruitfulness.
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Bawal ang Tamad na Anak ng Diyos.
Titus 3:14 Let our people learn to devote themselves to good works to supply urgent needs, so that they may not be unproductive.
1 Thes 4:10-12 … Nevertheless we urge you to progress even more… to mind your own affairs, and to work with your (own) hands, as we instructed you, that you may conduct yourselves properly toward outsiders and not depend on anyone.
Pag-malakas ka at may-kakayahan, be productive!Slide14

Are you Connected to Christ?
Do you Commune with Him?
Are you bearing fruits for His Glory?