Daily Gospel Reflection – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Bishop Robert Barron
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Gospel: Jn 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke 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. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus declares that he is the vine and we are the branches who must remain in him. If we ourselves do not participate in who Jesus is, we miss the spiritual power that he meant to unleash.
If John’s Gospel is any indication, Jesus does not want worshipers but followers, or better, participants: "I am the vine, you are the branches; live on in me; my body is real food and my blood real drink. The one who feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."
The beautifully organic images that John presents are meant, it seems to me, to communicate the life-changing power of the Incarnation: the Logos became flesh, our flesh, so that we might allow the divine energy to come to birth in us.
Much of this is summed up in the oft-repeated patristic adage that God became human so that humans might become God. Many of our great theologians and spiritual masters speak unselfconsciously of "divinization"—that is to say, a sharing in the symbiosis that is the Incarnation—as the proper goal of human life.