Fifth Sunday of Easter in the year C

Posté par diaconos le 11 mai 2022

The Last Supper Discourse : The Vine and the Vine Stems

John 15 vine and branches

# The True Vine is a parable given by Jesus Christ. It is quoted in the Gospel according to Saint John. It speaks of the importance for the believer to remain attached to the true vine, which symbolises Christ, in order to bear fruit in abundance. The fruit, being the image of the relationship between the branch and the main plant through the sap that circulates between the two, can refer to many other biblical passages such as the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians. For St. Augustine, the branches are in the vine in order to receive their life-giving principle from it. Humans must remain attached to the virtues given, to the word transmitted by Christ in order to give healthy fruits. Benedict XVI, in a commentary, addresses the subject of freedom and divine precepts. Mixing the two is not incompatible. We must listen to God and he will give us the strength to create and walk our way. The spiritual harvest will then be abundant.

From the Gospel of John

As Jesus passed from this world to his Father, he said to his disciples : «  I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit my Father takes away ; every branch that does bear fruit he cleanses, that it may bear more; but you are already clean and made pure by the word that I have spoken to you, ‘Remain in me, as I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he is like a branch that has been thrown out and is withered.

The dry branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they burn. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and you shall receive it. This is the glory of my Father, that you bear much fruit : so shall you be my disciples. « This is the glory of my Father, that you bear much fruit » (Jn 15, 1-8)

 And now flee from your occupations for a while, hide yourself from your tumultuous thoughts for a while. Put away now your heavy cares, and postpone your laborious tensions. Turn to God, and rest a little in him. Enter into the cell of thy soul, shut out all but God and that which helps thee to seek him; door closed, seek him. Say now, all my heart, say now to God: I seek your face, your face, Lord, I seek him. (Saint Anselm).

Allegory of the vine and the branches

Christ is the true vine, we are the branches and the Father is the vinedresser. The Father wants us to bear much fruit. This is normal. A vinedresser plants the vine and cultivates it in the hope that it will bear abundant fruit. When we start a business we hope it will be profitable. Jesus insists : « I have chosen you and appointed you to go forth and bear fruit, and your fruit » (Jn 15, 16). You have been chosen. God has looked upon you with favour. Through baptism you have been grafted onto the vine which is Christ. You have the life of Christ, the Christian life. You have what is essential for bearing fruit : union with Christ, because  the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine  (Jn 15, 4). Jesus says it clearly : « A apart from me you can do nothing » (Jn 15,  5).

« His strength is only gentleness ; there is no greater tenderness than this ; and nothing is more solid  » (St. Francis de Sales). How many things have you wanted to do without Christ ? The fruit that the Father expects from us is that of our good works, of the practice of virtues. And what union with Christ will enable us to bear such fruit? That of faith and charity, that is, abiding in the grace of God.  If you abide in his grace, all your virtuous acts are fruit pleasing to the Father. They will be works that Jesus Christ will accomplish through you. They will be works of Christ that will give glory to the Father and become heaven for you. How worthwhile it is to live always in the grace of God! « If anyone does not abide in me [through sin], he is like a branch that has been thrown out and is withered.

The dry branches  are thrown into the fire, and they burn. May the Virgin Mary help us to increase grace in us so that we can produce fruit in abundance for the glory of the Father. Lord, my God, give my heart to desire you, by desiring you, to seek you, by seeking you, to find you, by finding you, to love you.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊  Monastery Abbey Benedictine of Christ in the Desert : klik here to read the paper → Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

◊ Loyola Press   : klik here to read the paper → Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cycle C 

  The Vine and the Branches

Image de prévisualisation YouTube

 

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