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Fifth Sunday of Easter - Cycle B

John 15:1-8

“Abide in me,” (John 15:4)

This week, we get another “I am” statement from Jesus: He is the true vine, we are the branches, the Father is the vinedresser. 

I love this image. It’s a beautiful metaphor for the reality of the Christian life: As a branch will die if cut off from its vine, and will flourish if properly connected and pruned, so in Christ, our true vine, do we live and move and have our being. 

Jesus says, “Abide in me, as I abide in you.” The connection of a vine to its branch is intimate; and God wants deep intimacy and union with us. Jesus is everywhere present, through the power of the Holy Spirit; yet, abiding in Him takes action. 

Abiding in Christ requires letting Him into all areas of our hearts and lives,  living in a grateful awareness of his presence,  cooperating with the Holy Spirit flowing through us, believing in the Word, and seeking to honor and glorify the Father. 

Allowing the Father to prune us is allowing Him to love us into more fullness of life. He sometimes prunes by cutting away what is diseased; other times, He prunes what is good in order to allow for something else to take its place. We can then bear more fruit. 

1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” Abiding in Jesus enables us to live like Jesus, who abided in his Father. When we do, we are better able to sacrificially love, and the Fruits of the Spirit and charisms manifest in us more. 

Jesus gave this image after promising to send the Holy Spirit so that God may dwell in us. The Spirit is the lifeblood of the vine, which gives nutrients to the branches. In a year of Eucharistic revival, let us not neglect to remember that God is always intimately close, through the  Spirit. As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost soon, let’s allow God into the intricacies of our hearts and days, and pray for an increase of the Spirit and its gifts, so that we can grow in union with Him and overflow in supernatural love towards others, for his glory. 

Come, Holy Spirit. 


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