Reflection on 5th of Easter: 2nd May 2021

Being Connected

‘Would we rather have a friend who is always right or who is in right relationship with us? Would we rather have a friend who is always correct or who is always connected to us? We know the answer to these questions. Today’s gospel is saying that God wants us to be in right relationship with Him, to remain connected to Him. “I am the true vine. You are the branches. Cut off from me you can do nothing. ”1 ‘In Scripture, the word true is often used to describe what is eternal and divine.’2 ‘When we are rooted in the True Vine our lives will produce His fruits of love, intimacy, mercy, forgiveness, justice, truth, generosity, compassion, presence, wisdom, healing, reconciliation, self-surrender, joy, thanksgiving, peace, obedience and humility. When these fruits are not evident in our lives then we are living apart from the Vine.’1

When we are disconnected from people and places we love, we can become homesick. When we have become disconnected from the Source of our being, our restlessness or our feeling of dis-ease is an experience of homesickness which can only be eased by responding to Jesus’ invitation, “Make your home in me as I make mine in you.” ‘This is about abiding, not performing. It is about holding on to our core identity more than perfect behaviour—which would only make us proud and self-sufficient, even if it were possible. It is a coming home to the divinity in ourselves. The greater our awareness of God-within-us, the more open we will be to God within the people he sends into our lives.’1

St Augustine reminds us that our hearts are restless until they rest in God. That restlessness comes from a sense of being incomplete which arises when we have looked in the wrong places for nourishment, enlightenment, direction, leadership, life, community and truth. ‘Each of us needs to find what keeps us connected to our true Source and then be faithful to that. It might be art, or poetry, or silence, or being vulnerable in the presence of that person in whose presence we are led home.’3 When we are home, we will discover that ‘we are already one but have imagined that we are not. What we have to be is what we already are.’4

Adapted [1] Richard Rohr [2] John MacArthur [3] James Finley [4] Thomas Merton

Gospel John 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples: “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 it to 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”.