MAY 2. EASTER. Wk.5. Sun. Jn. 15. 1-8
Updated: Sep 4
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away,
and every branch that does bear fruit
he prunes to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,
and they are burnt.
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.’
It is clear what Christ is teaching us in this reading, namely his followers need to focus on a Union of Wills. This is what the vine bears witness to; - how its branches are in total union with the vine. In fact, the vine (our spiritual life!) cannot live or grow if there is a divergence of wills, of goals, or desires. They must be “as one” in order to grow and bear fruit!
There is a powerful lesson here that we consistently “overlook”, in that our desires, and God’s desires need to be as one, if our spiritual life is to flourish and bear fruit.
A good example of this, where we repeatedly fail, is in our understanding of The Cross! We fail to understand, or “see” the Cross God wants us to carry! He does not want us to shed blood, nor does he want us to undergo incredible suffering. Rather, He wants us to embrace all the day to day circumstances in our lives where things do not work out “the way I want!”
That is the Cross God wants us to carry! He wants us to understand that nothing happens to us except that which he has permitted; - so when things do not go “the way I want”, that is the Cross God wants us to carry; - and as we know trials of this type appear in our lives daily!
It is important we recognise these generally “light” troubles and sufferings constitute our daily Cross; - and we need to be aware of this, and embrace them as representing the Will of God. Instead of resenting them, and complaining about them; - we should embrace and welcome them; - via our Love, Faith and Trust; - in our Creator’s divine Wisdom and Love!
"Anyone who loves me will obey my teachings, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them, and make our home in them!"
Gospel Acclamation John 15:4-5
Live in me and let me live in you, says the Lord;
my branches bear much fruit.
Second reading 1 John 3:18-24 The commandment of faith and love
our love is not to be just words or mere talk,
but something real and active;
only by this can we be certain
that we are children of the truth
and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise against us,
because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these:
that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in God and God lives in him.
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.