May 3, 2015: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
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.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” (John 15:1-8)
The image of the Vine and the Branches is all about a close relationship.
Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Have you ever wandered through a woods and come across a thicket with overgrown and tangled vines and branches? The vine usually seems to take over sending energy out to the branches. Some of them are fed and in turn send new growth to others. However, those branches distant from the vine may dry up and need to be cut off lest they stifle the growth of the others.
Stay close to the Vine, Jesus. Be ready to receive the energy for growth He sends. From time to time, prune your branches to rid yourself of any dried-up parts that may stifle your growth or that of others.