Sap of Life, Strength and Fruitfulness

by | Apr 23, 2024 | Formation, Reflections | 0 comments

Jesus is the true vine.  He gives the branches that remain in him the sap that gives them life and strength and makes them bear plenty of fruit.

Jesus uses the allegory of the vine and the branches. He does so since he wants to make clear how his disciples should relate to him: they are to remain in him; his sap must flow through them. For apart from him, they can do nothing.

No, we Christians cannot do anything if his sap does not run through our lives. If his Holy Spirit does not console us, if his love does not spur us on to love in truth. Without the sap of the one who brings us grace and truth, we but obsess about the law. That is to say, we cannot have a share in what is new that he brings in. But rather, we will be with the Pharisees.

There is no doubt that theirs is a very high degree of religious observance. For they fulfill the law with greater efforts, more exactly, in the slightest detail, and more fully than others. But what is bad is that they soon think that they are self-sufficient.

In other words, they come to believe there is no one they should rely on, not even on God. After all, they know it all, can do all things and are above others. Besides, they have a claim, due to their merits, to all things. Even to God’s favors; he must reward them. So, it is no surprise that, in their pride, they close themselves to others and despise them.

Of course, it is these traits of the Pharisees that Jesus decries. He does not want them for us. Hence, he prunes, cleanses, us with his word. And he asks us time and again to remain in him. No, he does not want us to dry up but stay alive with his sap and bear more fruit.

Lord Jesus, help us to remain in you as branches on the vine. We shall thus live off your sap and be and act as you, announcing the Good News of the kingdom of God and of his justice. Make us grasp that, indeed, you have to work with us and we with you, that we have to act in you and you in us, that we have to speak as you and in your Spirit (SV.EN XI:310-311). And see to it that we eat your flesh and drink your blood, so that we may remain in you and you in us.

28 April 2024
Fifth Sunday of Easter (B)
Acts 9, 26-31; 1 Jn 3, 18-24; Jn 15, 1-8


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