Fruitful for Jesus

John 15:1-8
Acts 15:1-6 / Psa 122:1-5

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
(John 15:1)

Be resolute when trials come,
Don’t let anxieties take root;
Just trust in the Gardener’s Son,
His pruning will make us bear fruit.

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit because without me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” (John 15:1-8)

Reflection

One very notable difference that sets the Gospel of St. John apart from the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) is how our Lord Jesus always used allegories to emphasize His messages instead of parables, as in the case of the other Gospels. In fact, we do not find a single parable in the Gospel of John. Instead, our Lord used allegorical images to describe Himself: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (Jn.3:19); ”I am the bread of life” (6:35); “I am the light of the world” (8:12); “Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink” (7:37); “I am the gate for the sheep”(10:7); “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (10:11); “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live” (11:25); “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (14:6); and finally, “I am the true vine. . .” (Jn.15:1).

In all these images, especially in the last one, our Lord is telling us that true life in this world and salvation in the next is totally dependent on Him. He is our temple in worshipping God; He is the only nourishment of our spirit; without His guiding light, we will be walking in the darkness of sin; He is our protection from the wolves of this world; in His resurrection we will follow when we die; and cut off from Him we will wither and die, and burn in eternal fire.

The question is: how do we bear fruit? St. Paul tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23) These traits are the results of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our life as Christians. But aside from these, we must bear fruit by bringing others to Jesus Christ by our testimonies, and by actively inviting our friends, relatives and associates to our renewal community. We also become fruitful by supporting our church and its missions, and by proclaiming the Word of God to others, and standing firm in our Christian ideals and convictions (being honest).

God, our Father, You are the gardener in our life who wants us to be fruitful. Help us to remain faithful to the Vine, our Lord Jesus, through the presence of Your Holy Spirit in our life. We can do nothing without Your help, Lord. Thank You for sustaining us with Your Word. Amen.

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