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. (John 15: 5)
We have today what may be the most vivid image for those of us living in the 21st century. When Jesus talks about the sheep most of us can’t really (unless you grew up on a farm) appreciate the scene. But we have all grown houseplants and done science experiments in school where we cut branches off and then would graft one back onto a plant. We have seen for ourselves that truth. That unless the branch is attached to a vine or plant it will die.
Now this gives us a few points to reflect upon:
- Who or what am I attaching myself to in my life?
- How strong is my attachment to Christ?
- And then, what do I do that severs my attachment from the Church?
These are very challenging questions that require honest time and effort in answering if I want to truly look into my soul and make that room for Christ.
I can look back at all times I kept myself firmly attached to Christ and see how I was both blessed and was a blessing to others. I can look back and see how empty life was when I cut myself off from my Church. And I can also look back and see just what sins I engaged in that cut me off and left me alone to fend for myself.
St. John tells us today, “Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us.” This is the key. To keep the commandments of Christ and his Church. We may not always understand them, but then that is where the theological virtue of faith comes in.
Pentecost is coming once again, and so to help us truly be ready for that Holy Spirit, let us keep ourselves attached to Christ, to keep his commandments and those of his Church. Then we can be sure that God’s grace will flow through us, give us life – so we can be that witness to the world.
Rev Michael R. Mateyk, C.PP.S.