Fifth Sunday of Easter

“Remain in me, as I remain in you.” To “remain” is the concept of staying in something or with something perhaps like staying in a current or an ongoing situation for a quick second or for a length of time. Like sticking with something until the end, hanging in there until it is over or seeing something through to its final completion. The idea of “remaining” can also be like dwelling in a place or occupying space for a moment or perhaps for some time similar to remaining in a city or a house or in prayer or in a particular state of mind or life for a given time or forever. To “remain” can also mean to abide “with” or “in” such as abiding with someone for many years or for days unending sort of like being friends forever or maintaining a long term relationship or being sealed in the unbreakable bond of holy matrimony or being part of a family who prays and stays together just like Jesus when he entered into an everlasting covenant with humanity. He entered into our human family to suffer and die with us and for us so that united to him in his Word, through his prayer and with his sacraments we could remain with him forever and always for today and for eternity. This is God’s everlasting promise to us. That in Jesus, we can abide, dwell and remain with him not just in this life but also in the one that never ends. However, we must do our part to remain in him as he reminds us, “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.” We remain in Jesus when we spend quiet, quality time with him in sacred scripture. Not by reading scripture as if it were only words on a page, but as having a deep and personal conversation with someone who is real, alive and present to us as we pray, reflect, speak and listen. We also remain in Jesus when we honor the commandments, live in beatitude or simply exercise acts of love, kindness and mercy in the name of Jesus and with his help. But we truly and really remain in Jesus when we receive him in the Blessed Sacrament with an open spirit, a contrite heart, a quiet mind and a peaceful disposition and simply say, “Jesus remain in me so that I can more perfectly remain in you.”