“Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature”
(Mark 16: 15)
Let us remember God’s Teaching, contained in His Word and in doing
Life In The True Vine
5th Sunday of Easter Year A St. John 15: 1 — 8
1. Jesus said, “I am the true vine”.
As Christians we can become a little puzzled by this kind of talk. According tour Lord, are all other vines false imitations? Obviously not. But He is definitely laying claim that the Ancient Vine, Israel, was the forerunner of what He is. Jesus claimed to be the fulfilment of all that His Father intended when He planted His Vine. Throughout its history, His Vine often failed to produce the desired fruit and so had to be trimmed. Now the Vine, Jesus Christ, truly intended by the Vine Grower ― His Father ― is in place, and has performed admirably. In fact Jesus, the True Vine, is thrilled with the first of its new fruit ― the Apostles. They are the inheritors of all the life and culture of the Ancient Vine, Israel. They are, however, to draw all their sustenance from Him, the true Vine ― that is through Jesus the Messiah who has renewed the Vine, and will continue to trim it, feed it, shape it, and lead it as the Vine Grower, His Father, ordains.
We too, are that Vine, not a new vine, notice, but genuine and authentic new growth on the Ancient Vine: renewed and fulfilled by none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a privilege we have received in order to pass it on in our bearing good fruit to the honour and glory of God, the Vine Grower.
2. Jesus said, “Remain in me as I remain in you”.
His injunction is a solemn command to take all steps necessary, in our various different circumstances, and states of life, to nurture a truly close, loving relationship with Him, who is our entry point into the great Vine planted by God Himself. Each of us is to ponder frequently what this means in our life, and whether we are “measuring up”. The failings of Ancient Israel can easily become ours also!
3. Jesus said, “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”.
The double condition: “If you remain in me, and if my words remain in you”, is surely an indication that we will grow in the mind of Christ if we apply ourselves to meditating carefully on His divine word. The Holy Spirit will then inspire us to pray for all those things with which God wishes to bless the world. This very act is the core of our missionary work ― the fruit we are to bear ― but without it there is no growth, and the vine shrinks. If the Vine is shrinking, we should know where to look.
Let’s pray for one another, no matter who or where we are ― that we will support and help one another to:―
• remain in Jesus Christ;
• keep His “words”, His Teaching echoing within us;
• apply His Teaching, His Torah, His Gospel in our daily lives to
Praise be Jesus Christ, our King!