There is a saying: “If you want to be happy, plant a garden.” Oh, how true that is! When we are gardening, we are living in the moment, attentive to the life that is growing from what has taken root through the seeds we have planted.
Then with patience and tender care, we see our labor of love come to fruition in the beauty and the bounty of what we have grown and share at harvest time. For the sense of oneness we have with nature and for the smiles a garden brings, we have reasons to be happy. Now the question is: do we have the patience to produce the fruits Our Lord wants us to bear and share joyfully by being one with Him through the power of His grace?
To Be Bountiful
Truly, with God’s grace, each one of us can produce a beautiful bounty of faith, hope, and love to give to our world. In doing so, we can experience the sense of oneness with Our Lord. However, we are not always attentive to the life God calls us to lead and we miss out on the joy that comes with living in unity with Our Lord.
“Remain in me, as I remain in you. 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,” said Jesus [John 15:4]. “Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing” [John 15:5].
Perhaps we find it difficult to believe that without Our Lord we can do nothing. Well, we cannot grow a garden on our own either. Even with our work, we need the sun’s light and the rain’s nourishment to bring forth what we want to grow. In other words, we need strength from Christ our Savior to be truly good and fruitful—to be bountiful.
Labor of Love
For that strength, Christ gives us the light of life and nourishes us with His body, blood, soul, and divinity so we can live as God’s loving children. We still need to put in the work to remain united with Our Lord and witness the unfolding of His love in our lives. Consider our Blessed Mother, who was free from sin’s darkness and full of God’s loving grace.
The fruit of Mary’s womb was Jesus, but Mary’s labor of love did not end with the birth of her Son. To maintain this Divine union for her lifetime, Mary obeyed God’s will, participated in Jesus’ redemptive work, and followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Forever fruitful, Mary works to share the joy of Our Lord with us by the power of her intercession.
Therefore, let us follow Mary’s example to remain in Our Lord as He remains in each of us. Then through this Divine union, with our labor of love and attention, may we share in the joy of Our Lord by sharing with one another the fruits Our Lord wants us to bear for all the days of our lives. Amen.