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I am the true vine

 

reflections today

Gospel: Jn 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.”

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In the Bible, Israel is compared to the vine (cf Ps 80:9ff). It was brought out of Egypt (the Exodus story) and planted in the Promised Land. It was the object of the Lord’s special care. The prophets, however, often took the vine Israel to task for not producing the expected fruit.

At the Last Supper, when Jesus de­clares that he is the “true vine,” he proclaims that he is the New Israel who bears fruits pleasing to God. But Jesus also focuses on his disci­ples whom he compares to the vine or, more exactly, to the “branches” of the vine. United with Jesus who is the stem, they become the new Israel, the new people of God. But to bear fruit that is pleasing to the vine grower, they must abide with Jesus. They must stay attached to Jesus as if their life itself depended on it. In this way they “bear fruit” through doing good works and lead­ing exemplary lives.

“By their fruits you will know them [people]” (Mt 7:20). What “fruits” do we bear?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2017” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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Written by Tempo Desk

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