Last Sunday we contemplated on the image of 'Good Shepherd' and how God is taking care of his faithful, his sheep as a loving shepherd. Today we have another one, 'The vine and its branches and its winegrower'. The message is clear: If we attach ourselves to the Vine, we will have Life. We must ask ourselves this question; why do we have to attach ourselves to the vine? The purpose of this attachment is to give fruits, not to live for itself. The branches that do not give the fruits, the winegrower will cut and throw them. Why give fruits? It is the will and the glory of God. Why give glory to God? Since God dwells in us, the glory of God is the glory of man. By glorifying God in our lives, we will feel the glorification of the man that we are. Let me explain this in detail!
This parable of the vineyard shows us the relationship between Jesus and his Father. We discover through this parable, why Jesus wanted to glorify his Father and in return God glorified his Son. Jesus sees in Him the presence of his Father, Father and I am ONE. He Himself is a branch of the vine of his Father. He lives in the Father and the Father lives in Him. Like Him, we are invited to attach ourselves to Him, the vine that gives life. It is not enough for us to attach ourselves to the vine, but we must make a personal and collective effort to give the fruits. What was the fruit of Jesus? To fulfill the will of his Father, always consulted with his Father before and after of every event, a deep desire to fulfill all that his Father has asked him: that your will be done, in your hands I entrust my Spirit.
There will always be failures and difficulties in our life to know and execute the divine will. Like Paul who was rejected even by the disciples of the Lord because of their ignorance and fear, it is quite possible that we too are rejected by others. If we remain faithful and abide in His love, like Barnabas, we will also find others who will come to help us and to accompany us. If we want to feel this divine accompaniment, we should not be content with the words and speeches, but put the work of love into action and truth. Before our enemies and all those who hate us, it is difficult to put this work of love into action. Yet if Jesus dwells in us, and if we abide in Jesus, we can easily put that love and forgiveness into practice. If we still find it difficult to forgive one another, it is obvious that we no longer live in Christ and Christ can no longer work in us.
For us Christians, the foundation of faith is in this love and forgiveness of Jesus. Love one another, as I have loved you. This love expresses itself better in our forgiveness. In this world that is so commercialized and fragmented, if we don't abide in Jesus and Jesus in us, discovering the vitality of love in this world is a Herculous job and almost impossible. With our relationship in Jesus, feeling our root in this vine of God, everything is possible. God will feed us and guide us.
So many men and women of good will have felt this divine call and presence in them. This true discovery allowed them and helped them to discover the same divine presence in the weak and oppressed. They were able to dedicate their whole lives to their service. Like Paul, they said that I no longer live, it is Christ who lives in me. Driven by the Holy Spirit, they even considered their lives as nothing because they were configured to the love of Jesus. A life fully received from God and given back in its totality to this God.
God wishes that we remain as the true face of God in this world. Just like Jesus, we too are called to abide in this divine love and to love the world that God has created. This true love is possible only to God and to those who are in God. Thus it is important that we ask this question: am I attached to the vine and what is the taste of my fruit. The quality of our fruit will orient the world to the source of our life. Is Jesus is our vine and we His branches? Have a wonderful day.