“I am the vine, you are the branches.
Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit”.
Such is Jesus’ revelation in this coming Sunday’s gospel, from John: amazing
One focus of Jesus’ discourse is a mysterious fruit that we must bear and do
bear if we abide in Him. Indeed, the branches that bear no fruit are cut, to
Now, two questions (among many!) arise:
1. How do we abide in Jesus so that we bear fruit?
2. What is the fruit that we are to bear?
Before answering these questions, note the seriousness of such abiding as
suggested in Jesus’ strong statement: “Apart from me you can do nothing.”
Now, if I were in an ornery mood (which, of course, is not my style ), I might
respond, “Oh yeah, watch me do something apart from you. I can do Happy Hour
and the lawn and tennis and vacation and...” To which Jesus could respond,
“Alright; but can you do eternal things, like love as I do?”
We abide in Jesus—after having been grace-fully grafted onto Him—by wanting
it. It is a question of desire. But we must keep wanting, because we never fully
arrive. The arrival is called heaven, and we aren’t there yet. We’ll know when we
have arrived! In the meantime, as Saint Augustine says: “The entire Christian
life is in fact an exercise of holy desire”.
The fruit that we are called to bear is that of love for one another. To be more
precise: the fruit is divine love exercised between us. And the more we allow the
love of God in our hearts to flow and to be victorious over anything anti-
love—such as envy, prejudice, or greed, the more rooted we are in Christ’s heart,
Source of this love and, in turn, the more we love one another. It’s an upward
Yours in this love,