I am the vine, you are the branches
Today’s Gospel speaks of the Lord Jesus as the vine and of his followers as the branches. The vine-branches imagery is one of the beautiful imageries found in John. It depicts our intimate relationship with the Lord. It also poses the challenge to continue growing in this intimacy. This is only possible when we remain in Jesus. It is either we remain in him or we perish. The Lord wills that we bear more (pleíona) fruit and, if we remain in him, we shall bear much (polún) fruit. Pleíona may refer to something of “higher quality” and polún may be used in the sense of the word “often.” The Lord wants us to have a life of higher quality, and as often as we stay with Jesus, the more our life will be of higher quality. How do we grow in intimacy with the Lord? Is our intimacy with Jesus leading us to a life of higher quality? Does our fruitfulness also benefit the life of others? 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.” SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www. stpauls.ph.