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Without Me You Can Do Nothing - Weekday Homily Video

Without Me You Can Do Nothing - Weekday Homily Video

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Today we begin the month of May, a month dedicated to Our Blessed Mother. Today also happens to be the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker, a day designated by Mother Church as Religious Brother Day. If you know of a religious brother, please wish them a good feast day!



In the Congregation of Holy Cross, we call religious brothers “ordinary men who do extraordinary things.” Just like St. Joseph, who took care of Our Lord Jesus and Our Blessed Mother Mary, religious brothers silently serve Christ and His Church in extraordinary ways. They don’t seem to get a lot of credit like priests and nuns, but they play an important role in the affairs of the Church.


The Vine and Vine Branches


In the Gospel of John, we hear the Lord use the famous image of the vine and the vine branches. I spent two years in the California Bay Area as a graduate student-priest and we used to go out to visit the vineyards and wineries in Napa and Sonoma Valley for wine tastings. I had a good Kenyan priest-friend who worked in Napa and used to invite me to go out and visit him, and, you guessed rightly, the visit included visits to a couple of wineries!

What you come learn in Napa and Sonoma is that the vineyards and the vines are all delicate. They demand great attention if the owner is ever to get any fruit out of them. The branches have to be lifted off the ground to avoid them becoming diseased, too many branches on the same vine is not a good thing; they can take away the nutrients, making the vine less productive. So only a certain number of branches is good for each vine.


Bearing Fruit


Most importantly every branch must be attached to the vine tree for it to have life. If anything, like a strong storm, detaches it from the vine tree, that branch is dead and will never have life or bear any fruit. There are other plants that when a branch falls off the tree, it can germinate on its own and flourish, not so with the vines.

It is this world of vines that Jesus grew up in and borrows from. He tells us that He is the vine and we are the branches. Anyone who disconnects from Him will never have life and will never bear fruit at all.


Prioritizing our Spiritual Lives


We live in an age where there is an emphasis on certain aspects of human life, forgetting other aspects of life. There is emphasis on the physical life, the intellectual life, the emotional life, the economic life—forgetting the spiritual life of who we are. People can spend hours in the gym, reading a book, working for their economic well-being, yet devote minimal time to their spiritual life.

The Lord invites us to prioritize our connection to Him and pay attention to our spiritual lives. Unless we do that, our life will always have an emptiness in it. We will never have fulfillment; we will never have authentic joy in our lives. Prayer and an active sacramental life on an individual level, a family level, and as a body of Christ is what can keep us alive and full of energy.

Today we can ask ourselves: In what ways is each one of us, our families, our organizations attached to Christ, or centered on Christ, just the way Mary and Joseph were? To put it differently, from which well do we drink to sustain ourselves or to be fruitful? The Lord has a message for each one of us:

“Remain in me, as I remain in you. I am the vine, and you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”


  • To view the Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook page at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (If you are not a member of Facebook and a signup window appears, simply select the X at the top of the pop-up message and continue to the livestream.)

About Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C.

Father Fred Jenga, C.S.C. is the President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Father Fred, a native of Uganda, has multiple degrees including theology, philosophy, and communications. His native language is Lusoga and he speaks English, Luganda, Kiswahili, and Rutooro. He has been a teacher, researcher, author and family minister. Father Fred is committed to helping build God’s masterpiece one family at a time.