This week, Jesus presents us with an image of our relationship with God: Jesus is the true vineyard. God the Father is the vinedresser. We are the branches.

28/04/2024 Por IAA

What does this image teach us about our call to continue Jesus’ mission?…

For the Christian, there are four possibilities when it comes to spiritual fruit: a) Not bearing fruit b) Bearing fruit c) Bearing even more fruit d) Bearing a lot of fruit.

Jesus’ desire is that we bear ‘much fruit, and so my Father will be glorified’ John 15:8.

I – What is bearing fruit?

When Jesus speaks of bearing fruit by abiding in him, he is referring to the fruit of the Spirit that appears in the lives of those who walk in the Spirit. Thus, ‘bearing fruit’ is not optional in the Christian life. Fruitfulness is the result of obedience to God’s word and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It is an outward manifestation of an inward change.

If God has freed us from sin and calls us to be saints, this transformation must lead us to obey his word and live in accordance with it. ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness and temperance. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.’ Galatians 5:22-25

II – Three conditions for a life to bear fruit:

1- Being purified: Allowing oneself to be pruned by the vinedresser. Branches that bear fruit are pruned so that they can bear even more fruit. It can be painful, but the fruit becomes more abundant and perfect. What does pruning the branches consist of? Removing what absorbs energy but doesn’t produce fruit.

What needs to be cut back in our lives? What should be removed? How can we allow ourselves to be pruned and purified by the word?

The Father is the farmer, he is the one who prunes. He sometimes lets difficult circumstances and situations get to us: financial, health, opposition, misunderstanding, a difficult relationship, etc. Such trials push us to the limit of our own strength in areas we didn’t realize we were acting in our own strength and not by the power of the Spirit. We then see the lack of the fruit of the Spirit and it awakens in us the need for a deeper surrender to Jesus and a deeper obedience to His Word. It is written: ‘… the Holy Spirit God has given to those who obey him’. Acts 5:32.

2- Remaining in Christ: Remaining in Jesus is a very active lifestyle! It means living in such a way that I am always in Him, walking hand in hand with Him, living according to His Word. We may not always be aware of his presence, but the essential thing is not to allow anything to separate us from him. This is done through a life of prayer, reading the Word of God and living the sacraments (especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation).

3- Obey: In the kingdom of God, everything depends on obedience. The fall came about because of disobedience, but we are elevated through obedience. Without this, no sanctification can take place, because we, through the Spirit, look forward to the hope of righteousness by faith. Galatians 5:5 As children of God, let us endeavor to be pleased to obey the Lord’s commandments. And if his commandments seem difficult to us, let us remember that it is written: ‘His commandments are not burdensome.’ 1 John 5:3

SFS  Small First Step 

– Ask for the fruit of the Spirit

– Ask to be purified

– Obey what God tells me