Reflections on the Scriptures Fifth Sunday of Easter Gospel B

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FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER GOSPEL B

Jesus said: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. 
· The OT frequently uses the imagery of the vine for the Chosen People in their relationship with Yahweh, who is the vine grower. Here Jesus identifies himself as the true vine in contrast to Israel who did not open its heart to the Messiah. Those committed to Jesus as part of the vine.
· In the Gospel of John, Jesus uses the "I am" metaphor on a number of occasions: "I am the bread of life" (6:35); "I am the living bread that came down from heaven" (6:51); "I am the light of the world" (8:12); "I am the gate for the sheep" (10:7); "I am the good shepherd" (10:11); "I am the resurrection and the life" (11:25); "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (14:6).
· The Father does two things: removes dead branches; prunes fruitful branches so as to bear more fruit. The analogy is that those who are dead in sin are cut off and those who are in union but not bearing full fruit are pruned.
· What is God doing in your life? What purification is God calling forth so that you can live in his life more fruitfully?

Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
· Jesus uses the metaphor of the vine; Paul in 1 Cor will use the metaphor of the Body to reflect the same mystery of union with Jesus.
· Using this passage spend some time in prayer reflecting on your relationship with Jesus. What is the fruit of your relationship with Jesus?


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