The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
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.”
Reflection (Sem. Leonides Jimmy Jesuro III)
Today, we hear the discourse of the union of Jesus with his disciples. He uses the illustration of the vine and the branches. His invitation is “Remain in me, as I remain in you.” (John 15:4) Christ is the true vine while we are the branches, and for us to become a fruitful branch of the tree, it must not be cut off from the vine for its nourishment. And how can we be continually nourished by Christ? It is through His words, our daily appreciation of the Gospel, and eventually living out its messages for us each day of our life. Only through this can we glorify God the Father, have the courage to ask whatever we want from Him, and truly become Christ’s disciples.
One batchmate in the seminary teases me each time I say my prayer aloud, because he always hears me say, “Stay with us Lord, for apart from You we can do nothing.” I acknowledge the remark and bring it to my reflection. Yes, I always mention it in my prayer for the reason of my encounters with the Lord in my life experiences. To me, life is less meaningful when I see myself away from the source of my spiritual nourishment- Jesus Christ.
In my reflection, I remembered one of my former college students, who was well provided by his parents. He practically had everything he needed, but did not see himself productive. He did not go to Church, but, upon my invitation, he slowly went back to the Catholic fold. He realized that although he had the resources, he was like a branch of a tree who did not bear fruit by itself because he was disconnected from the true source of everything, the true vine who was Jesus Christ.
As a seminarian, I am invited always to remain in the vine as I am just a weak branch. There is no way for me to bear any single fruit if I cut myself from the vine by continuously doing my favorite sins or vices. And when I can be able to bear much fruit, I will return to God all the glory and honor, for He is the source of all good things in my life.