Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Vine and the branches

What does it mean for us to be God’s holy people, to sing the praises of Him who called us into His wonderful light?

We are led towards an answer in this Sunday’s Gospel of the Vine and the branches. Here we have the cry of Jesus, repeated over and over again in one short passage: “Abide in Me”. It is a cry from the depths of the Lord’s heart because He knows that this ‘abiding’ is the source of everything for us. It is a call to enter into the innermost life of the Blessed Trinity. Jesus is not simply the only One who can call us to this. He is the only Place where this invitation can find its fulfilment.

The Vine and the branches - we do not say:“This is not the vine, this is the branch.” As long as the branch lives in the vine, the branch is the vine. We are living in Him with His own life. He has made us one with Him by His own gift. And in Him, through the Spirit, we are one with the Father. Here, there is a mystery of union which is beyond our understanding and our conscious experience.

All things are on their way back to the Father, through Christ, in the Spirit. It is as if all things are being drawn towards a central point in the depths of Christ’s heart in the bosom of the Father. This ‘abide’ of Jesus is His longing to gather us up and return us to God. We hear His voice as a resonance in the depths of our being, as we become aware that in Him we are begotten by the Eternal Father.

“I am in my Father and you in Me and I in you.”
Here we are drawn into the never-ending exchange of love in the Persons of the Trinity, a love that is always new and present to every moment of our lives. It is the dance of God in which we were created and which calls to us without end: ‘As the Father has loved me so I have loved you. Abide in my love!’

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