Vocation Meditation - <br />5th Sunday of Easter, 2009 > Vocations.ca

Vocation Meditation -
5th Sunday of Easter, 2009

Jesus said to his disciples: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the Vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you."

"Abide 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. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in them bears much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing."

"Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, and thrown into the fire, and burned."

"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."

The symbol of the vine was part and parcel of Jewish imagery and the very symbol of Israel. In Israel's history God has tended this vine with care and attention. Yet, to the prophets, the vineyard of God has grown wild. The vines have not borne good fruit. Its branches withered and needed pruning. These have become degenerate vines.

Jesus knew the ways of the vinegrowers and the life of the vines of his land. The vine can have two kinds of branches, one that bears fruit and one that does not. The branches that do not bear fruit are drastically pruned back so that they will drain away none of the vine's strength. Jesus knew that for the vine to produce the crop of which it is capable, it needs severe pruning.

The wood of the vine has the curious characteristic that it is good for nothing. It is too soft for any purpose. Its branches, when withered, are not good for anything save to make fire. The fruitless vine is on the way to destruction. Uselessness invites disaster to the branches when detached from the vine.

Jesus calls Himself the True Vine. He is the real and genuine vine that generates life to every believer and to His Church. In the figure of the vine and the branches, Jesus reveals the mystical sense by which the disciple is intimately united in Him. Abiding in Christ means being in contact with Him, in His Word, in the Sacraments and in the life of the Church.

Israel, the people of God and everyone are called to an intimate living fellowship with God in Christ. Jesus is the true Vine of God and all must be branches joined in Him at all times. Abiding in His love promises lasting fruits of good works, fruits that give glory to God.

Vocation Challenge:
Jesus reminds every follower of His: "Apart from Me, you can do nothing."
How do I jealously guard my preferential love of Christ amidst the lures of the world?

Dear God,
Only by abiding in Your love can I obtain abundant life. As my true Vinegrower, tend my vocation. Prune the branches of my desires and actions. Allow me to bear the fruit of goodness and compassion. In Christ, I remain faithful and useful in your Kingdom. Amen.

For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.

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