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. Those who abide in me and I in them bear 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, 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Without the root, there is no vine, and without the vine, there are no branches. As Jesus often says, “The Father and I are one.” Jesus throughout his ministry often makes it clear that it is the Father that provides the grace. So, too, with us, without grace, without the nutrients that come from the root, we will find no life.
How do we remain alive on that vine? I would suggest it is through the Word we hear in our prayer. We are nourished with a Word of Encouragement; with a Word of Strength; with a Word of Forgiveness; with a Word of Courage; with a Word of Perseverance; or with a Word of Healing.
What Word have you heard today that has kept you alive, connected to the vine?
—Fr. Michael Bayard, S.J. serves as Provincial Assistant for parishes and spiritual ministries of the Oregon and California Jesuit provinces.
Risen Lord, we know that you are the vine and we are the branches, that without you we cannot bear fruit but will wither and die. Help me to live and flourish in your love today. Help me to flourish this coming week faith-filled disciple. AmenPlease share the Good Word with your friends!