First Reading: Acts 15:1-6; Psalm: 122. R. v. 1; Gospel: Jn 15:1-8
ABIDING WITH THE TRUE VINE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The vine is a very delicate plant. It needs a great deal of attention to get the best fruit out of it. It has two kinds of branches. The ones that bear fruit and the ones that do not. Customarily, the branches that do not bear fruit are cut off so as not to drain the strength of the plant unnecessarily. Jesus described himself as the vine and we as the branches. And just as there are two kinds of branches; there are also two sets of believers: those who bear fruit and those who do not. The fate of those who have refused to bear fruit is very clear. Jesus said that he would cut them down.
In life, we influence and inspire one another. For instance, a well mannered friend can influence or inspire a wayward friend. And an exemplary father can be an inspiration to his children. But one necessary factor to the feasibility of these changes or influence is proximity. If we admired any quality or gift in a person; the easiest way to imbibe such quality is either by proximity to the person in question or by being conversant with what the person does. The closer we are to who or what we like, the more we become like them.
Jesus calls us today to maintain this relationship of proximity. If we remained attached to Jesus, we will bear much fruit for we will gradually become more and more like him. Jesus will provide the necessary nutrients that we need to bear fruit. Jesus had the practice of withdrawing himself occasionally from the noisy world to a solitary place to re-energize himself through prayers to the Father. How often do we go to God through prayer or retreat? When last did we confess our sins? These are ways we can maintain our union with Jesus the true vine. For without Jesus, we can do nothing.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Jesus the true vine, help us by your grace to remain united with you so as to bear much fruit. Amen.