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Doctrines & Morals

I Am the Vine, you are the branches

Acts 9-26-31, Jn 3:18-24, Jn 15:1-5. On this Fifth Sunday of Easter Year B, the Church reminds us of the unique divine identity and purpose of Jesus as the true vine. Last Sunday Jesus revealed to us that He is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the flock. It is part of the “I am” sayings which emphasise His perfection and resounds His "Divine Name" as revealed to Moses in Exodus (3:1ff). Today, He tells us another attribute of Himself that points to His "Divine Name" and perfection: “I am the true vine”. The Vine represents spiritual good. We must be grafted to the true vine to have a share in the Vine life. In today’s first reading, one remarkable thing we see about Paul is that after his dramatic conversion his life changed completely. Immediately, he was transformed from Saul the persecutor, to Paul the preacher of the good news. He wasted no time in bearing fruit in Christ because, his conversion was true and genuine. The consequence of his true conversion and believe in Jesus Christ was a great harvest of souls. He bore good fruits because he was a “deeply crafted and rooted branch” in Christ, the true vine.

In the Second reading, John reminds us that: “…our love is not to be just word or mere talk, but something real and active. Only through this can we be certain that we are the children of truth…” John seems to remind us of the saying that: “Action speaks louder than words.” The word of God transforms us because it is real and active. So, we cannot love God or keep His commandments without concrete works of charity and mercy. Also, we cannot remain in Christ without bearing fruits as a mark of our union with Him. Today’s gospel is a call to strengthen our relationship with Christ in order to continue to live in Him. The type of relationship that should exist between us and Christ is illustrated using what is natural to us. That is, the relationship between a vine and it branches. In Jesus, we see a perfect model whose life and footsteps we can follow. He describes Himself as the vine and His followers as branches. The connection of the vine and the branches implies the fusion between human nature and divine nature. The individual or the community are mere branches that can thrive only when they stay connected to the source, which is the vine. When human-divine connection takes place they “Will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither” (Ps 1:3). Those who stay connected with vine produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit which include Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Modesty, Faith, Chastity, Mildness and so on.

May the Lord dwell in us, remain with us and transform us so that we might bear fruit in His name! Amen!! Good morning and happy Sunday!!!

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