In John's gospel on the fifth Sunday of Easter, we are invited to enter our earthly reality of human work and viticulture. Jesus uses the image of the vine and branches to show how closely we are interconnected in our Christian life with the source of life. Whether there is little fruit or plenty, there can be neither without Jesus Christ, because without him, nothing can be done.
‘I am the vine you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in that person bears fruit in plenty; for apart from me you can do nothing.’ John 15:5
Further on in the discourse at verse 16 we read:
‘You did not choose me, but I chose you and commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last;’ John 15:16
What is the 'fruit' that Jesus speaks about?
Love is the fruit that the Lord expects of us ... " a love that accepts with him the mystery of the Cross, and becomes a participation in his self-giving - and hence the true justice that prepares the world for the Kingdom of God." Pope Benedict XVI
In today's context of large commercial vineyards, we are challenged to to consider the vineyard as a more intimate place where the vintner tends to the beauty of well-crafted wine. Christchurch theologian Kath Rushton points out that "Disciples are to be grounded in God's economy, which is not based on competition and maximum profit but on mercy, forgiveness and love. Persons are not autonomous and isolated consumers but branches connected together and nurtured by Jesus and cared for by the vintner God." p155 The cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.
Acts 9:26-31. The Jerusalem disciples require convincing before they can accept Saul/Paul as a fellow Christian. His sense of the Christian mission is that the Church is to grow and become a light to all nations.
Psalm 22 (21): 26-27, 28, 30, 31-32
Response to the psalm. "I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people."
One version of this psalm is available as a pdf from Michael Herry fms HERE
1 John 3:18-24 We remain in Jesus by keeping his commandment of love in deed and truth.
Gospel of John 15:1-8. "I am the vine you are the branches..."
"I am the vine" by John Michael Talbot. Dur 4:28 HERE