5th Sunday of Easter

5th Sunday of Easter

Dear OLPH Family and friends,

In last week’s Gospel reading, Jesus emphasized the unity he and his disciples share, using the image of the good shepherd. This week he speaks of the same unity with the symbol of a vine and its branches.

The care of grapevines has not changed much over the last 6000 years. What Jesus saw in his day is about the same as you might find in the Temecula or Napa wine districts.  One of the most important requirements of a successful vintner is the annual practice of pruning. Left alone the vines will only produce leaves and choke out the grapes.  An overabundance of leaves saps the plant of energy and reduces the size, abundance and quality of the grapes. Vinedressers prune off these non-fruiting branches to direct the plant’s energy into those branches that will produce both leaves and fruit.

Jesus is the vine in today’s Gospel.  The Father prunes away those that sap energy but produce nothing. A disciple’s decision to remain in Christ marks the difference between those who bear fruit and those who are pruned away.  As John speaks of it here, remaining in Christ must be active.  It is not enough to draw life and energy from one’s faith:  one must also bear fruit.  Those of us who draw life from the Spirit of the risen Christ must use that power to give life to others.

As we continue this glorious Easter season, may you be blessed in every way!

Fr. Ron