Thursday 5 November 2015 — Latest update Thursday 3 March 2016

Wednesday of the 5th Week of Easter, year’ B’ Mercredi de la 5e semaine de Pâques

“I am the true vine and my father is the vinedresser,” says Jesus.

Ac.15, 1-6 Ps. 121 Jn. 15,1-8

Wednesday 5th week of Easter 27th April 2016

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser’ says Jesus.

Ac.15,1-6 Ps.121 Jn.15,1-8

“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 clean already by means of the word that I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, unless it remains part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.”

The parable of the vine and the vinedresser illustrates very well the mystery of the Church. On the hills sides of Palestine are vineyards spreading far and wide. All the conditions are there : a very lime earth, rain in spring time, sun until the time comes to pick the grapes. This image of the vineyard and its branches speaks to Jesus’s disciples. Jesus goes to the heart in his teachings. Old branches dried out on a vineyard don’t let the sap pass. It is necessary to burn them.

We all find in our life times, attitudes, choices that are sterile for our faith and drying for our heart. We burn them in the great Fire of God’s Mercy.

The Church is a mystery of communion of Love in the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son.

Jesus said : ’My Father prunes the vineyard so it may bear good fruit.’

In Springtime, the vine gives off an impressive number of wild branches that can ’dazzle’ whoever is not familiar wit vines. The vinedresser will cut back odd growths on his vine. And we, too, should do all we can to cut back all that is disorderly, all our ways of being that do not bear fruit in the way we love our sisters and brothers.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him , bears plenty of fruit ; for cut off from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a branch –and withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and are burnt.”

The sap of Jesus is His Presence in us. We turn to Him in prayer, and when we receive the Eucharist, we receive Life.

We wish to live more, serve more, and love more.

And so we offer ourselves up to God the Vinedresser, so that He may purify us by directing Jesus’ Sap wherever He wishes. Jesus’s commandment expresses this mystery of Love :’Love one another as I have loved you.“The Church is always at risk, in danger of division when different points of view clash violently, this is the time to dialogue in Love and in Truth. The Saints have shown the price they had to pay for communion. How many brothers are today in difficult situations, convinced they are right. They can emit an intuition coming from the Holy Spirit. Their Love for Jesus and the Church will be stronger than their ’idea’ if they accept to be submitted to the Church in quest of truth.”If you remain in me and my Words remain in you, you may ask for whatever you please and you will get it. It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit and be my disciples."

Jesus goes to great length to describe the branch worthy of the sap : it is a believer in whom dwells and works his Word, a disciple firmly anchored in his Love and in the commandment of Love. When God’s Love is not refused, when His Presence is welcomed and there are no more delays to charity, fruits shower down abundantly. God’s Love is stronger and truer than all the impressions that pass through the heart or memory.

To dwell in communion with the Church is first and foremost a mystery of faith in communion. The Holy Spirit is given to us so that we may remain in this Communion. So, the sources of Living Waters keep on flowing in the Church. If we remain in Christ and in communion of the Church, the life that comes from God alone will be made manifest, it is greatness of the tiny littleness and of the great poverty of Jesus’ friends.

Todays’ Word gives to us in images how life comes to an abrupt end when we have broken communion. The branch left to itself represents the rupture a Christian makes with Christ. The communion of the Church and Christ gives him life and strength, it is a mystery of faith and of Love.

We ask for the grace to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and to Jesus for the Glory of our Father.

WEDNESDAY of 5th WEEK of EASTER

“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 clean already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you. remain in me, as I in you.As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, unless it remains part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.”

The parable of the vine and of the branches illustrates very well the Mystery of the Church. The Church is a mystery of communion of Love in the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son. The unity of the vine and the branches is necessary for it to lives. Jesus said, “My Father cleans the vine so that it bears more fruit.”This image speaks strongly to us, for it is an experience we have.In Springtime the vine gives an extraordinary amount of small branches. The vinedresser knows what he has to do -practically cut everything and leave just one branch! The vine is cleansed and nothing remains to prevent it from growing. If we dwell in Christ and in the Communion of the Church, life comes from God alone. This is the greatness of being tiny and in living in a great poverty. The word is given as an imagery , as life comes to a halt when we stop communion.The branch left to itself represents the rupture of the Christian with Christ. The Communion of the Church and of Christ gives it life and strength it is a mystery of Faith and communion.

“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 thrown away like a branch-and withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and are burnt.”

Jesus’ commandment is expressed in this mystery of communion:“Love one another as I have loved you”. “See how much they love each other!” This was said of the first Christians communities. The Church has always faced up to adversity and division : ’People from Judea wanted to indoctrinate the brothers of the

Church of Antioch.’ The Church risks being divided when different points of view meet with violence, whereas the time has come to to dialogue in Truth and in Love. Saints showed just how much communion cost them. How many brothers , today , find themselves sin difficulty, convinced that they are right. An intuition coming from the Holy Spirit can come out of them. Their Love for Jesus and the Church will be stronger than their ’idea’ if they accept to submit to the Church seeking truth. At some point, Truth will be recognised!

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for whatever you please and you will get it. It is to the Glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit and be my disciples.”

Jesus dwells with us in hi Word, in the Eucharist, in the poor and in a multitude of ways. He gives us His Holy Spirit at each moment. To dwell in communion with the Church is first and foremost a mystery of faith in communion. The Holy Spirit is given to us so that we may remain in this communion. Thus, the springs of living waters never stop flowing in the Church. Those who have received a ministry of unity and who have authority seek Truth.’ The gates of hell will never stop them’ says Jesus. History reveals to how there were many regrettable errors which will be amended by a request for forgiveness. In the area of faith, the Holy Spirit will always come to our aid, we can be sure of this.

We ask for the grace to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and to Jesus for the Glory of the Father.