Grow in Grace
Fifth Sunday of Easter
May 3, 2015
JN 15:1-8

Last Wednesday was “Earth Day.” The purpose of setting aside a special day to celebrate our planet…our home…is clearly to make us more appreciative of this great gift from God. With that appreciation and understanding, it is the hope that we will take better care of Earth.

I watched a special “Earth Day” program on television and I learned some very interesting things. I never realized that almost 100% of the nuts and 90% of many of the fruits and vegetables that we consume in this country are grown in California. Many of these agricultural products are referred to as “thirsty crops.” For example, it takes 1/3 of a gallon of water to bring one little grape to our lips. I also learned some alarming things. I learned about how the severity of the drought in California is threatening our food supply. Scary stuff.

I thought about all that I learned on Earth Day as I sat down with the Readings for this Fifth Sunday of the Easter Season. What hope there is to know that, through Baptism, we are “grafted” into the vine whose roots reach all the way into the Eternal Kingdom. I thought about what a “thirsty crop” we are, and how a constant flow of God’s saving grace flows through the vines into us. We are free to drink in as much of God’s saving grace as we wish, without fear that the flow will ever be interrupted. I thought about how the Light of the Risen Christ warms us and helps us to grow, and how the Holy Spirit provides the spiritual climate we need to be the best we can possibly be. I thought about how delighted our Creator is on that day in which The Divine Hand reaches into this world and picks us from the vine. And I thought about how important it is to stay connected to the Community…our Church…the vineyard which produces such an abundant crop of the most beautiful fruit.

“Earth Day” gave me a deeper appreciation for, and understanding of, our planet. John 15:2-8 gave me a deeper appreciation for, and understanding of, our Church. Thank You, God, for our Earth…and thank You, God, for our Church and our Sacraments, for there is where our thirst is truly quenched.