Have you ever wondered what type of person you might be if you weren’t a Catholic? I have, and the picture that comes to mind isn’t necessarily pretty. I completely understand St. Vincent de Paul when he said, “But for divine grace I would be in temper hard and repellant, rough and crabbed.”
At the same time, have you ever imagined yourself as a saint: a person filled with peace, hope, and joy, rich in faith and good works? I’ve done this too. And even though I recognize that I have a long way to go to achieve this goal, I know it’s possible, if I live in harmony with Jesus.
What becomes of a person with or without Jesus is what Jesus himself considers in today’s gospel. He says that when we remain in him, we bear good fruit in our lives and glorify God. But when we don’t remain in him, we essentially wither and die.
We should keep these two possibilities always before us as we choose how to live our lives. We can imagine the Christ-less image of ourselves and think, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” And we can picture ourselves as a saint and hope, “That, with the grace of God, is what I can become.”
Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/052411.shtml