May 18

FOCUS:    Unity with Jesus is necessary for fruitful discipleship.


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“Remain in Me.”  That is the message we hear four times in today’s Gospel reading.  Jesus almost pleads with the disciples, and us, to remain in Him as the “true vine” so that with our lives we may produce much fruit. 

The Jews of biblical times had a keen understanding of the metaphor of the vine.  They knew that a vine must be tended to and pruned so that the fruit produced would be good and plentiful.  While few people today have experience in actual vineyards, we can relate to the goal of being productive with our life.  Jesus is asking us to be productive with what matters most, our eternal state of being after our life on this earth has ended.

How often do we forget that our purpose on this earth is bigger than just what we accomplish during this life?  We are part of the spiritual vine of God the Father, adopted brothers and sisters of Christ, and given the Holy Spirit to guide our path to eternal happiness.  But, as always, we have a role to play.  Our first step is always a firm belief in Jesus and the salvation He offers us.   But we are called to do more.  We are called to remain in Him.  What does this look like?  As Jesus has told us many times in the Gospel this Easter season, we show our belief and faith in Him by seeking and obeying His will in our daily life.

We are reminded today that for the times we do not bear fruit, those times we turn away from God with our sins, we remain in Him by turning to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  In the sacrament He can “prune” us with His mercy and forgiveness, healing us so that we can again produce good fruit.

In the message “Remain in Me”  there is a simple truth.  We are either fruit-bearing or non-fruit-bearing. There is no in-between. But the bearing of healthy fruit requires pruning. The Lord promises that we will bear much fruit if we remain in Him and allow him to purify us. 

Daily prayer, attentiveness to His Word, and actively loving and serving others are the tools to remaining in the Lord.  If we do this, then we will receive what Jesus promised us in yesterday’s gospel, His Peace.


Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection

Do you trust in the Lord's healing and transforming power to give you the abundant life and fruit of his heavenly kingdom?