Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire, and they are burnt.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.’
Gospel for the 5th Sunday of Easter
Vine-growers do not leave their vines to grow as they please. They trim and train: they take care…
God too, with us. Cares and helps and trains. God does this for our own sake, because he cherishes us. God does it also for the sake of the Kingdom, for the quality of relationships between us, enabling us to cooperate with him in the works of love, and care for each other.
Stained Glass. Hampstead parish church. (c) 2007, Allen Morris.