Wednesday of Fifth Week of Easter 2011 I am the True Vine

Click here for last year's post on this Gospel.

Gospel John 15: 1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.

He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.

You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.

Remain in me, as I remain in you.

Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.


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;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.


If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.

By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

A Few Reflections 

Connection, Intimacy, the Life - giving relationship with Jesus the Vine and God the vine grower and they all take precious time...............

I came across this lovely story taken from a homily by Dr Mark Smith  Intimacy With God

"There is an old story about a greatly loved priest in a little French village. In the small village he had performed marriages, baptized babies, and buried the dead. 
In his 25 years, he had touched every family as he pastored the small village community.
It was decided that an anniversary party would be given for him after Mass one Sunday. 
Wine is a gift of honour to the French, so each man in the village was to bring a quart of wine and pour it into a large wooden cask that would be sitting on the steps of the church.

After the Mass, the priest was told what had been planned in his honour. The congregation and the old priest moved outside the church and he took a goblet and drew out the first glass of wine. 
Instead of wine, out came a clear, colourless liquid that looked and tasted like water.

The priest, believing that some of the water in the wine had settled to the bottom, threw out the water and shook the barrel to mix the liquid inside. He filled his glass a second time and again he got another glass of water.

Someone took the lid off the barrel and looked inside. The barrel was not filled with wine but with water. 

What had happened? 
One thrifty Frenchman did not feel he could afford a quart of wine and thought that, if he could pour water in the barrel, it would mix with the wine and no one would know the difference. 

Unfortunately, everyone in the village did the same thing!

The point of the story: you can’t pour water into the barrel and expect to take out wine!

Unless we make an effort to put something into building
our relationship with God, our faith gets more and more watered down.
We can’t expect to maintain a vital, growing relationship with God if we are not willing to put in the effort and take the time and attention it deserves.

Some thoughts .....

The story makes me reflect on how I am too often prepared to water down my faith and how I dilute my attention to God the true source of my life. 

Another thing that Jesus reminds us of; any branch cut off from the vine is useless . We either go to God linked or it seems we don’t go at all.

Richard Rohr: asks “What is the source of your spiritual power?  
It’s radical union with God, not just doing good things or holding a role or function.

Often we make the basis for ministry professionalism, education, and up-to-date-ism, which are all good in themselves. 

But in the end, the only basis for fruitful Christianity is divine union.

Such people change you and change the world” 

Photo : Grape vineyards Rioja , Spain

Back to Dr Smith ....

"How do we know if we are growing?

Are there any clues to whether or not we are growing spiritually?

Paul suggests there is a test, namely, growth in the fruit of the Spirit and the harvest..

“The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Well, I need a lot of pruning but I am content to be a branch that rests alongside Jesus and in the safe hands of God for that job.

Bring on the pruning shears ...... ouch !

Nice music video for reflection : I Am The Vine

A production used for a church service of Causeway Coast Vineyard. Copyright belongs to Rory Lane Lutter, copyright on the music belongs to Erik Janssen

Arvo Part : I Am The True Vine

Source of Richard Rohr quote and further reflections from here

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