Daily Reflection – Apr 27, 2016
Wednesday 27 April 2016
First Reading: Acts 15:1-6
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord
Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5
Gospel Reading: John 15:1-8
Today’s Note: Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.
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.”
My Father is the vine grower. (John 15:1)
Just one chapter before this story, Philip asked Jesus, “Show us the Father,” and Jesus answered him, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8, 9). Now comes a supplemental lesson in which Jesus teaches, not only who the Father is, but what he wants to do.
With just a little imaginative license, you can visualize the scene: Jesus and his disciples, having ended their Passover meal, are walking toward Gethsemane. As they pass through a vineyard, Jesus runs his fingers across the leafy branches and smooth grapes. With a flash of inspiration in his eyes, he turns to Philip and the others and describes his Father in a new way: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower” (John 15:1).
Philip isn’t the only one who has had trouble “seeing” the Father. Each of us longs for a deeper relationship with him. We imagine that we’ll discover greater life and peace if we could just rest in his embrace. And it’s true—we can!
But we often need help seeing God. Yes, we know that Jesus and the Father are one. We might even have good earthly fathers to look up to as role models. But even the best ones aren’t picture-perfect likenesses of our heavenly Father. So we may still feel that he is distant or content to remain behind the scenes.
Remember the vine grower! We’re accustomed to Jesus being active and visible in our lives. But here, the Father is the active one as he goes about cultivating a garden. Remember too that when Jesus says that he and the Father are one, he means we can’t separate the two. When Jesus came to live in you, so did his Father!
So whenever you see Jesus—in the Gospels, in prayer, or as you gaze on a crucifix—remember that you are also coming face-to-face with your Father. Wise farmer that he is, he knows exactly what to do to help you grow and thrive. He will water you with showers of his love. He will prune in you what needs to be pruned. And he will help you bear the richest of fruit.
“Jesus, show me the Father in a new way today. I want to ‘see’ how he loves me.”