Those who are united to Christ both in good times and bad, especially by being a part of a loving and caring Christian community, find true joy and bear much fruit. The conditions to live united to Christ are clear. We live in him by keeping God’s word continually in our mind and making it the guide of our actions, by maintaining a prayer life, by receiving the sacraments that draw out of his grace, by avoiding all sins and yielding to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Above all, we abide in Christ by being united with one another as a community of love.
If we remain in Christ both in good times and bad, we will enjoy much peace and consolation, as the members of the early church did, “The church was at peace and enjoyed the increased consolation of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9/31). If we remain in Christ we will find joy in him, not the superficial joy of prosperity suggested by the world but a joy that comes from the fulfilment of one’s potential, a joy that will produce much fruit and a joy that is a power with which we can do good things for the kingdom of God and the world.
Probably, most of us have at one time or other walked into a bank or an airline office to be told by the staff; “Sorry, you will have to wait, the computer system is down”. We can see the computer terminals are there, some switched on. The screens are lit up, they may even perform some limited functions. However, we know they are quite helpless, because they are not connected to the ‘mainstream’.
Like the computer terminals, we have to be plugged in to Jesus, the mainstream, if we want to be of any use.
Fr Paul Avarez OSJ