May 2

Reflection

I am the vine. You are the branches.
 John 15:1-8

In Judea, a vineyard was the symbol of a type of national identity. Often, in the Old Testament, Israel is pictured as the vine or the vineyard of God. In the eyes of its people, Israel was the true vine whose roots ran all the way back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus, a Jew, likened himself to a vine.  As branches of that vine, his disciples draw their strength from him. We are given our identity from him and are connected to him. This relationship with him is not simply for our own benefit but also for others. Bearing fruit means to offer a gift from oneself in unity and love. It is about carrying forward the mission of Jesus.  We bear fruit when we are united to the life of Christ which vitalizes us. Our fruit is the influence and witness of our lives for a better world.

Prayer

May we live out the mission of Jesus.

Action

What can I make of this analogy in terms of my daily life? Reflect on those in public or private life who loudly proclaim their Christian beliefs and yet reflect ideas far from the teachings of Jesus. What does it mean to be in God’s vineyard?

Suggested Reading

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.
John 15:1-8

Jesus uses the image of the vine and the branches and says, “Abide in my love” remain attached to me, as the branch is attached to the vine. If we are joined to him, then we are able to bear fruit.
Pope Francis

The branch cannot produce anything on it’s own. However, if it remains attached to the vine, it will receive life-sustaining sap, nourishment, strength, everything it needs.
Charles R. Swindoll

Jesus’ words lay claim to the metaphor for his followers’ relationship to the creation, without any recourse to any sort of human domination over it whatsoever: the true vine is the reality of right relationship—Creator, people, and creation taken together, for the sake of the fruitfulness of the creation.
Dennis Ormseth

The branch has but one object for which it exists, one purpose to which it is entirely given up. That is, to bear the fruit the vine wishes to bring forth.
Craig T. Owens

He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.
Thomas Fuller

A branch that is truly connected to the vine is secure and will never be removed. But one that only appears to be connected—one that has only a superficial connection—will be removed. If it does not have the life of the vine flowing through it, it will bear no fruit.
Grace to You

The duty of the branch is to cling to the vine.
Max Lucado

A great deal of what passes for current Christianity consists in denouncing other people’s vices and faults.
Henry H. Williams

     

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