May 2, 2021: Fifth Sunday of Easter
John Chapter 15:1-8
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.”
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us this beautiful parable of the vine and branches to help us understand how his life within us continuously sustains and nourishes us to growth and fulfillment, if we remain connected to him. Being a part of a vine includes the necessity of pruning and cutting off the old and even sometime the newer shoots to produce the best fruit.
At times in our lives, this painful process of pruning makes little sense, even as some of our best efforts get snipped. Even though this may be an uncomfortable process, God calls us to a deeper relationship through this time of growth. It is in remaining connected to the vine and bearing fruit that God is glorified. Remaining in Jesus through love and fidelity will bring forth in us enduring fruits for the honor and glory of God and God’s people.
Consider your attachment to Jesus, the vine – what fruits do you bear? How do you share those fruits with others?