JESUS, THE TRUE VINE.
1st: Acts 15:1-6
Psalms 122:1-2.3-4ab. 4cd-5
Accl. John 15:4a.5b
Gospel John 15:1-8
The imagery of the vine refers to the nation of Israel, as prophet Isaiah rightly puts it, ” the vineyard of the Lord of host is the house of Israel” (Isaiah 5:7). However, the Israelites, as God’s choice are often drunk with their first class citizen mentality which made it difficult for others to join them even after they ( the Jews) have received the Gospel of Christ. They said, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you are saved” They exalted the observance of the law over the life of grace.
However, Jesus had made effort while on earth to heal them of some of their flaws. In today’s gospel, we see him making reference to himself as the true vine. This simply implies that he has spotted a certain level decadence among the Israelites. They have taken their exalted position for granted. They were boasting as the most privileged, as God’s chosen race.
Jesus set out to heal them of their high table syndrome. He bent on saving them from their VIP mentality. Hence, he said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus strived to make them realize his direct connection to his Father. Without him, without following his words, they cannot get anything from his Father.
This also translates into the fact that God blesses man through man. When we refuse to see the finger of God in others we may be depraving ourselves of the favour which he wants to communicate to us through them. We recognise the face of Jesus in everyone we meet. The different faces determine our appropriate response. It is either our responses opens doors of favours for us or it closes it.
We are the new Israel, Answering God’s name, we are called to submit ourselves to his dictates. It is not enough answering the name Christians. He wants us to bear fruits for his own greater glory. Let us by our words and deeds open the door of the kingdom to others.
Let us welcome Jesus into our lives. Let us welcome him in our brothers and sisters. Let us show others his special love. By this, we are doing his Father’s will and will surely reap the fruits of such loving relationship.
Peace be with you.
Rev Fr Femi Victor Orilua, CSSp
On Wednesday of the 5th Week of Easter.