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Pastor’s Corner 4.28.2024

Vines and Branches

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, 

On this 5th Sunday in the Easter Season, we hear the parable of the Vine and the Branches. We are all familiar with this parable of Jesus. Using the image of branches on a grape vine, Jesus reminds us that we must remain attached to Him if we want to bear lasting fruit. 

The Lord tells us, “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.” 

Many of us grew up in a world that urged us to achieve, to work hard, to get ahead and to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Surely a strong work ethic is a valuable trait for a businessperson or an employee. We see the adverse impact of markets and economies when people lose interest in working hard. 

But Jesus points out an essential spiritual truth, we must bear the right kind of fruit, the fruit that comes from being “attached” to Jesus. Apart from Jesus and the truth He reveals, our efforts can lead us to labor for things that don’t really matter in the long run. 

Without the life of grace, a kind of spiritual nutrient that enlivens and guides our priorities and choices, we are likely to expend all our energies on things that don’t help us or others spiritually, or worse, that lead us away from God’s agenda and towards self-destruction. 

How do we stay connected to the Vine that is Jesus Christ? The same way Christians have for the last 2000 years. Genuine prayer, frequent dialogue with God; frequent recourse to the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation. These are special encounters with grace. And lastly, by not only being hearers of God’s word, but doers as well. Connected to the Vine which is Jesus, we will bear fruit that will last. 

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life,