Cortes: The true vine and the branches

IN THIS Sunday’s gospel (John 15:1-8), Jesus speaks of himself as the true vine upon whom we, as believers, should remain connected. His self-description as the true vine presupposes the existence of false vines.

Who could these false vines be? Could they be counterfeit religious leaders and teachers whose teachings and/or lives run contrary to the gospel of Christ? Could they be non-religious persons whose promise of salvation and happiness are based on deceitful doctrines or shrewd philosophies? Or could they also be attractive objects of the world, the pursuit for which leads not to satisfaction but only to more emptiness in life? The answers could all be yes.

To be sure, Jesus alone is the true vine and God the Father is the vine grower. Jesus alone is the source of life from whom all branches find nourishment and sustenance.

Yes, only if we remain in him can we live the fullness of life. To be separated from him because of sin is to to be cut off from the very author of life –making us wither, ready to be gathered and burned.

Now, if the dreadful consequence of not remaining in Jesus is death, what does it take to remain in him?

From the Second Reading (1 John 3:18-24) we get the answer. To remain in Jesus requires that we keep his commandment. And this commandment is to believe in the name of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, and to love one another, not just in words or mere talk but in something active and genuine.

This will not always be easy. We are imperfect individuals in constant need of a perfect God. That is why God, the responsible vine grower, prunes us as we journey into this life. Tirelessly, he teaches, corrects, disciplines, guides, empowers and inspires us. These he does through his written and Living Word.

Examining ourselves, we ask, “Does our faith in Jesus connect us to the true vine? Is this connection proven and sustained by love which sums up all the commandments? And are we, as branches, open and welcoming of God’s pruning?”

Only by remaining in Jesus can we bear fruit, for without him we can do nothing. Everything that we have, including our own breath, does not really belong to us; everything is a gift from God. And all of our achievements, accomplishments and possessions are not really ours, but are shining testaments of God’s love and generosity, flowing in and through us.

To cap it all, believing in Jesus and living the commandment of love go beyond bearing fruits. The same connection gives rise to a great promise of receiving answers to prayer: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.”

Do we need something from God? Do we want him to do something for us? As a loving Father, he must be too eager to give us, his children, what we need and to grant us what we want, if these were aligned with his will. He, in fact, challenges us to ask from him.

The question is, “Do we remain in him?”


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.