vines and branches

“Vine” by Marko Kivelä

Scripture Reflection for the
5th Sunday of Easter

by Jim Corder

Reading I: Acts 9:26-31
Reading II: 1 John 3:18-24
GOSPEL: John 15:1-8

Staying Connected

When we hear Jesus speak of the vine and the branches in today’s Gospel, we are reminded that if the branches are ever separated from the vine — they will die. SO how is it that we continue to live — to stay connected to the vine?

When branches are really connected to the vine, sometimes it is difficult to see where the vine ends and the branches begin. A great way for us to stay connected with Jesus (the vine), is for us (the branches) to be like the vine. We need to be about the same things that the Vine is about. We need to have the eyes, heart, and hands of the Vine — Jesus!

Being the Eyes of Christ

The way we adjust our sight is to begin with prayer. In order for us to know what to believe or how to act, we must get to know Jesus. Prayer is important, for to know the will of Jesus takes prayer, and lots of it! To make a commitment to prayer means that we will see, feel, and act differently — more fully like Christ.

We need to look at life with the eyes of Christ. We need to see things differently. Seeing with the eyes of Christ means that truth and goodness always prevail. Jesus sees things differently than we do, and yet we are called to see with his eyes. If we look at the world through the eyes of Christ that which is right, true, and everlasting is always the priority.

Being the Heart of Christ

Having a heart like the heart of Jesus is also important to staying connected. To be concerned and motivated out of love for others is having a heart like Jesus. Jesus was always concerned about the poor and less fortunate of the world. He always reached out to them in a special way and made it very clear that his followers should do the same.

We too, must have our hearts ache for the same people and situations that Jesus was concerned with. In the Gospels we often hear that Jesus is concerned for the widow, the orphan, and the poor and oppressed. Does your heart hurt for those people of our community?

Being the Hands of Christ

The third way we stay connected to Jesus is by doing the things he did. The second reading today tells us . . . “Let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth”. Talk is cheap, what we need to do is to act in love. We are called to spend our lives acting in ways that bring about the reign of God in the world. This requires us to move from simple talk to brave actions. It is one thing to say I am concerned about those that are hungry; it is another to feed those in need. Jesus was always acting to bring about change that would make life better for the poor or less fortunate

The alternative to staying connected to the vine is not a very good one. As the Gospel of St. John tells us: “Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned”.

Pretty scary news for those of us who may feel disconnected from the Vine — but great motivation as well.

Our spiritual lives depend on us staying connected to Jesus. While there are many obstacles to staying connected, we still must make constant efforts in having the eyes, the heart and the hands of Jesus.

Life Applications:

What is one way I can learn more about Jesus?
What is one weakness I have when it comes to having a heart that feels as Jesus feels?
What is one action I can take to make someone’s life a little easier?

Copyright 2003-2015 by Jim Corder
All rights reserved.