Today’s gospel was a repeat of last Sunday’s – JOHN 15:1-8
‘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.’
The following is Pope Francis’ commentary on this gospel last Sunday.
“We can all be joined to Jesus in a new way. If, on the contrary, one loses this union with Him, he becomes sterile, indeed harmful to the community. And to express this reality, Jesus uses the image of the vine and the branches, and says: ‘As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches’”. … Through Him – like the sap in a tree – the love of God Himself, the Holy Spirit, passes to the branches; through this parable Jesus enables us to understand the importance of remaining united with Him. The branches are not self-sufficient, but depend totally on the vine, the source of their life”.
“The same is true for us as Christians. Grafted to Christ through Baptism, we have received from Him the freely-given gift of new life; we can stay in vital communion with Christ”. However, the Pontiff emphasised, “it is necessary to stay faithful to Baptism, and to grow in friendship with the Lord through prayer, the prayer of every day, through listening and obedience to His Word – read the Gospel – and participation in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation”, as “if one is intimately joined to Jesus, he or she receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which – as St. Paul tells us – are ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control’. As a consequence, a Christian brings great good to his neighbour and to society. Indeed, from these characteristics, it is possible to recognise who is a true Christian, just as we can recognise a tree from its fruits. The fruits of this deep union with Jesus are wonderful. … We receive a new way of being, the life of Christ becomes our own; we can think like Him, act like Him, see the world and other things through Jesus’ eyes. As a consequence, we are able to love our brothers, beginning with the poorest and the suffering … and thus bring into the world the fruits of goodness, charity and peace. … Let us trust in the intercession of Our Lady, so that we too may be living branches in the Church and give coherent witness of our faith, consistency between life and thought, life and faith – aware that we all, according to our specific vocations, participate in the sole salvific mission of Christ”.