Jesus said to his disciples: “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.”
Today is Wednesday the 22 May, in the Fifth Week of Easter.
Ex Cathedra, directed by Jeffrey Skidmore, sing Hanaq Pachap Kusikuynin, a hymn in the Quechua language of South America: “Bliss of heaven: a thousand times I adore you. Tree of uncountable fruits, hope of the peoples, pillar of the weak, listen to my prayer.” As I listen, I place myself in the hands of God, the source of all life.. and fruitfulness.. and hope.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
Five times in this passage, Jesus says: “Abide in me.” But it’s rooted in a promise: “Abide in me”, he invites, “as I abide in you.” This is not about being in the same place. It’s about a mutual sharing. Jesus declares his sharing in our lives, and invites us to share in his. How do you react to this promise, and this invitation?
This gift, however, isn’t forced on us. It is offered, again and again. What opportunities, then, will there be in the coming day to express your wish to “abide in him”, to share Jesus’s life? Who will you meet with whom you want to share a sense of Jesus’s presence? In what situations will a Christ-like attitude on your part be necessary, and fruitful?
Listening to the passage again, hear particularly the invitation “Abide in me”, recognising that Jesus makes this invitation because he already abides in you.
In the last few moments of this prayer, take time to tell God what you feel about Jesus’s gift of himself to you. Ask God, perhaps, for what you feel will help you to respond more fully to this gift.