Wednesday, 5th Week of Easter       

            The Lord tells us that our lives will be fruitful only if we are connected or ‘branched’ to him. That is why it is important to examine ourselves if we are, indeed, connected or ‘branched’ to Jesus.

            Well, maybe we have rooted ourselves in worldly values – of having more material things and physical pleasures – instead of grafting ourselves unto Jesus, the true vine. Or maybe we have become too attached to some people whom we thought can give us what we want and need – instead of attaching ourselves to Christ who can give us the fullness of life. Or maybe we are placing the security of our life and our family in our job, profession, career, business, or investment – instead of having faith in God and trusting in his providence. The reason why we are not bearing fruits is because we are not connected or branched or grafted to the true vine, which is Jesus himself.

            The fruit that the Lord expects from us, his branches, is that we glorify the Father by being true disciples. And we can only grow in grace and bear fruits for God if we are united to Christ and are nourished by his Eucharist. If we are one with Christ in prayer sacrifice, then we can produce fruits, like: showing compassion and doing acts of mercy for the suffering; being sensitive and responsive to the needs of the poor; letting go of the comforts and conveniences in life to serve others. If we are united in Christ in the Eucharist, then we can perform tasks, like: serving in the ministries and being active in the life of our parish; diminishing dissension and instilling cooperation in our community; reaching out to the youth and touching their lives.

            “Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit…” We can paraphrase Jesus’ words in today’s gospel reading in this way: “You can be spiritually alive, experience peace and joy in your hearts, give yourself in generous service, and have meaningful lives, only if you remain in me, only if you remain rooted in my love.” In other words, for us to have the fullness of life… for us to live a righteous and holy life… for us to be able to love without condition… for us to be good and to be able to do good… for us to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts… we must remain in Jesus. Because, as Jesus says, “without me you can do nothing.” That is why the Lord Jesus is telling us: “I appeal to you, for your own good, remain in me.”

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