Faith Daily | 5 May 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - EASTER FIVE APBA p513
who called your Church to witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us so to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be reconciled to you;
through him who died for us and rose again
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 15: 1-8
”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Hilary Bell
Reflecting on this much loved passage, I find again great comfort in the words of Jesus and his instructions for facing challenges of living and dying in the faith.
Jesus uses the image of the vine, familiar then and now to people around the Mediterranean. The fruit, grapes, are used to produce wine and vinegar, to be eaten fresh or dried, even the leaves are consumed. Vines are nurtured and may survive for over a century; indeed, precious wine is often made from very old vines.
Jesus is the true vine. God, his Father and ours, is the gardener or vinegrower. It is God who loves us and gave Jesus to be our vine. It is through a vital relationship with Jesus that we are fed and nourished. He is the sap, his love the lifeblood that flows into us, allowing us to thrive, to grow and to bear fruit. Without that connection, we barely exist, we wither spiritually.
Whether we use the words “abide”,” rest “or “remain” to describe being in relationship with God, it is a relationship that is lifelong, now and into eternity. As branches in a vine we must also keep a loving connection with the whole living organism which is the vine, God’s church, and ensure that we keep the words of Jesus abiding in us.
Throughout our lives God prunes and shapes us to make us even more fruitful. As we age and weaken physically we can still bear precious fruit through prayer, faith and showing loving kindness as I have witnessed in so many older parishioners and forbears in my life.
FINAL PRAYER: Jim Cotter “Unfolding the Word”
loving through all its dyings
the creation that is coming to be,
inviting us to take our part
in such a great endeavour,
test us with loving our brothers and sisters
whom we meet day by day,
and with loving each small task that comes our way,
that we may show
that we have not rejected your love,
and have accepted the cost of creating.
We pray this in the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Resurrection and the Life.