On the 4th day of the Decade of Mission days, let us reflect on the theme “The branch that bears fruit”.

A reading of the Holy Gospel according to St. John 14,27 – 15,7

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Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go hence. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

When the enemy destroys our homes, rapes our women and girls, kills children and innocent civilians, then bitter hatred and fierce rebellion creep into our hearts. The thirst for revenge and death for the perpetrators can overwhelm our consciousness and paralyse us in anger and rage against our enemies. But Christ taught us to love and forgive. Love and forgiveness are not the abolition of justice, but rather the affirmation of life over death, good over evil, light over darkness.

Praying for the conversion of enemies is not a prayer for consent to injustice, because if evil is not punished, it will only increase. But how does God punish evil? He takes this evil upon himself and crucifies him on the cross. The Ukrainian people also stop evil so that it does not spread to other nations, taking this evil upon itself. We are not just victims of evil; we are helping the whole world to be converted. When we pray for the conversion of enemies and sinners, we realize that the people who attacked our land have fallen victim to the devil and his tools, but on the other hand, we ask God to turn them from their wrong path as soon as possible and allow God’s power to triumph over Satan and his servants.

Deep down, our enemies are also children of God, created in the image and likeness of God, who have their families, their homes, their dreams of a happy life. It’s just that now they are trapped in evil, which tears them apart from within and through them brings destruction to our people. That is why we need to pray especially now for their conversion, healing and handing them over to a fair trial. In the early twentieth century, the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima asked the whole world for the conversion of Russia. Today, this invitation sounds like a prophecy that may finally be fulfilled.

Let us pray for enemies and their conversion:

Our Father…

Rejoice Mother of God…

Glory be to the Father…