Are you with ‘Leaf People’ or ‘Branch People’
In this winter we see many trees with bare branches after having shed the leaves. Before shedding them, the leaves turned very colourful, attracting everyone’s attention, the social media gets filled with autumn colours. Yet it is not those colourful leaves but the branches that will survive the winter. Unlike the leaves, the bare branches eventually go on to produce new leaves and fruits. It is a good parable for human life. There are people who are like the autumn leaves, colourful and attractive. But their celebrity status is precarious. Come harsh tests of life, they fall away. Whereas there are people who are like branches, who do not live on the admiration of the world yet can endure any harsh tests of life. The only thing that can fail them is to be cut off from the trunk of the tree. Just as branches can produce new leaves and fruits these people are also full of real life. Whereas the ‘leaf people’ though can be good show-offs, cannot produce fruits of real life. That is because, unlike branches, they do not contain any qualities of stem in them.
The Body and Blood of Christ is a great gift we have from God that helps us to be ‘branch people’. Through the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ we connect intimately with the stem, Jesus Christ, for the life sap. People who have come into a union with Christ through the Eucharist are able to withstand the tests and hardships of life. Their lives bear goodness for themselves and others like shade giving leaves and good fruits generated by healthy branches. Just as the qualities of the branches share the qualities of the stem, we through our intimacy with Jesus share the qualities of the risen Christ. Jesus said, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.” (Jn 6:54).
Now ask yourself whether you are with ‘branch people’ or with ‘leaf people’.