If you are like me raised in Sunday School the Gospel for the 5th Sunday of Easter may be very familiar to you: I am the vine you are the branches. This familiarity shouldn’t render impotent this rich and deeply mystical analogical reflection.
Part of what this analogy convey’s is our dependence upon Christ. Yet, this isn’t the focus that Christ gives to the metaphor of vine and branches. Rather Jesus clarifies his metaphor with the injunction to abide in him. “Abide in me as I Abide in you.” Here is the intimacy of a deep and mystical relationship. Dependence is to speak of need, abide speaks of desire and rest.
Christ in interpreting his own metaphor of vine and branches pushes the metaphor to an absurdist level. a branch of the vine doesn’t make a choice of whether or not to abide in the vine. It is the vine the grows the branches.
If we abide in Christ like a branch abides in a vine then we will have the same life and love flowing through us that is in Chirst, we will have the love of God available to us. This abiding is for us and for ourselves. This abiding empowers us to present Christ and the life of God to others, as God the spirit leads us. In this way we are transformed and the world is transformed.
are you living in the life of God through participation in Christ.
Now it is true that certain things are contrary to participation in the life of God, but some things that we have thought exclude one form life, like the being a eunuch for the people of Israel isn’t.
God is love, love and hate in the member of Christ can’t coincide. Love of God and love of other human beings are intimately linked. We know this, but I think more often see the failure to love in others, than in ourselves