The vine does not produce grapes for itself but for others...

5th Sunday of Easter

Acts 9: 26-31; Psalm 21 (22); 1 St. John 3: 18-24; John 15: 4-5b

Read: I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit He cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more…….If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it. It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciples.

Reflect: Whoever “remains in the Lord”, who believes, is not the one who limits himself to practising his religion; attends Mass; receives the sacraments; prays; participates in devotions; but is the one who also seeks to imitate Christ by being just; promotes fraternity; shares what he has with others; welcomes everybody; is loyal; sincere; abhors all violence; forgives his enemies and engenders peace. Where there is love; happiness; peace and forgiveness, there will be the living Lord.

The vine does not produce grapes for itself but for others. The Christian who remains in Jesus, does not make acts of love so as to have the satisfaction of reaching moral perfection or so that he will be rewarded by God. He is like our Father in Heaven; who loves without expecting anything in return. His reward is the happiness arising from seeing somebody else content, because it is there that he recognises that God’s love is reflected through him. Nothing more, nothing less, because: “it is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciples”.

Pray: Help me, Lord, to be a living branch in the vine that you yourself are so that I myself will bear much fruit. Purify me, Lord, cleanse me, so that I will produce more fruit.

Act: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you”. Spend some time thinking on what it means to remain in Christ. Think also how his words can remain in you. How do you feel when God corrects you or ‘prunes’ you? Remember how much God loves you. Does the thought that pruning produces more fruit help you?


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