Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Are you connected to the Lord? Do you need cleansing from the disease of sinfulness, bad habits and evil intent? - Daily Reflections May 6,2015

I enjoy listening to my friend’s stories every time I visit him at his vineyard in Australia. I am always amazed at his passion for good and well-maintained vines. He understands the need to prune well and to destroy the vines that are of no use for the produce. You can see sadness in his eyes at the waste of dead vines that produce nothing.
       Jesus is knowledgeable about His heavenly Father. The Father is the Vinedresser, the one who takes care of the vineyards, and Jesus Himself is the true vine. Any branch that bears no fruit, He cuts away. This is very important for the vinedresser because a fruitless branch can easily spread disease and spoil the goodness of the vine. The pruning bears more fruit. If a good branch remains on the vine, good fruit is produced — luscious and juicy, sweet, full grapes! Using this analogy, Jesus goes further to say that you and I are the branches. If we remain connected to the vine, we produce good fruit, in plenty to the extent we remain in the vine. A diseased branch is collected and thrown into the fire.
   See how Jesus desires to connect with us through an intimate relationship. Our oneness with Him produces fruit. Jesus is the one who produces the fruit within if we obey Him. The fruit He talks about is a life of goodness, righteousness and justice. Healthy, good and tasty fruit comes from abiding in Him and listening to His words and doing His will. The grapes are then removed from the branches, harvested and crushed so as to produce tasty wine served for the pleasure of all. We are to be like those grapes, harvested and crushed through our trials and triumphs so as to produce the wine of our lives, spreading joy and love to those we meet. As someone once said, what can one lousy grape do? Imagine, as a lousy grape, you can produce cheer and delight in many lives around you. Fr. Brian Steele, MGL
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you connected to the Lord? Do you need cleansing from the disease of sinfulness, bad habits and evil intent?
Lord, may I abide in You and ask of You the grace to bear good fruit in plenty. Amen.

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