I am the vine, you are the branches
In today’s Gospel (John 15: 1-8) we experience a part of the Last Supper discourse that Jesus shares with his disciples in which He is the vine and the Father is the vinedresser.
Fr Paul tells us that Jesus takes a familiar image, that of the vine, to describe a relationship. The vine is a beloved symbol for Israel, used previously by both Isaiah and Ezekiel.
If you look closely at this Gospel, Jesus refers to the pain of pruning. When you prune plants, you select the branches that are not life giving, cut them away and dispose of them. Fr Paul shares the idea that Jesus is telling his disciples that his suffering is not the point but that they must be prepared for the pain of pruning.
Many things can distract us or we may be led along a different path and find ourselves cut off from God. We might go through various trials and persecutions like the disciples did. In these times, we might feel abandoned or cut off.
Through the image of the vine, Jesus is challenging his disciples, and us, to stay connected.
Fr Paul says if we stay connected with Jesus and with God then we will have life and have it to the full. Today he invites us to ask ourselves ‘How can I stay connected to Jesus, to him that gives me life?’