I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (Joh 15:5)
This Holy Week I wanted to examine my conscience simply by looking at Jesus and seeing how I am faring as His follower.
Do I abide in Jesus, meaning, do I dwell in Him 24/7 and not just during prayer time or mass time?
Do I reflect Jesus' love, compassion and mercy when I relate to people around me?
Do I bear fruit that will last, meaning do I do my share in bringing others closer to Him and to the heavenly kingdom??
Do I work, serve, and relate as if Jesus were in me, or do I operate apart from Jesus?
The answers to these questions point me to where I could seek improvement as a disciple. For I still forget to call on Jesus and I still take control of my life. I still lack love, compassion and mercy for others, always putting my own interests first. I waste my time on things of this world, of things and food and clothing that won't last, instead of spending my time doing what my heart tells me I must do - be a worker in His vineyard.
I am not disheartened because I know that I can ask forgiveness from Him whom I have hurt, ignored and disobeyed tonight through the sacrament of confession. I know He gives me and other sinners like me infinite second chances, and every time I seek Him, He reveals more of Himself to me.
This is how hope grows within my heart, through my ever-expanding knowledge of the character of Jesus. I may not see Him face to face now and I may not understand fully His teachings with my limited capacity, but it is good to know that I don't have to. That each day, each hour, is a step closer to Him, no matter how far away I have strayed.