Today’s Gospel: John 15:1-8
The image of the vine and branches is used first in the Old Testament (Psalm 80 and the Book of Isaiah). In the Gospels, Jesus refers to Himself as the new vine, and His followers are the branches. This Gospel is rich with meaning and instruction about how we, His Disciples, are to live our lives in Christ. The vine – the Church whose head is Jesus – unites the members of the mystical Body of Christ.
As branches that receive our life from the vine, we are called to a life in Christ. We are called to unity, worship, praise, and service to our brothers and sisters for the glory of God.
Through trials and sufferings, Christ prunes us, and we experience pain. But we know in faith that this cutting and pruning is necessary so that we may become purified and more fruitful, and Christ can use us for greater work in His name.
Jesus reminds us that when the branch is separated from the vine, it withers and dies. Likewise, when we are separated from Jesus and His Church, we have no life within us because Jesus is life. He is the source of our interior life of prayer, which is necessary in order to do good work. If we do not possess this interior life, our work will be for naught, and all of our efforts will die. This life of prayer begins in, and is constantly strengthened by, reverent liturgy and frequent reception of the sacraments of penance and Holy Eucharist.
Do you allow yourself to be pruned by Jesus? Do you do your part to become a fruitful branch by nurturing a life of prayer, frequent penance, and reception of the Holy Eucharist?
Dear Lord, prune me so that I may be a fruitful branch in the service and unity of Your kingdom.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Terry McDermott