Daily Reflection – 5/10/2023
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15: 1-8)
We live in a world of competing values as well as those calling for our allegiance. It’s tempting to lose our focus as followers of Christ. Yet, Jesus Christ speaks to us again and again about our relationship with Him and, in that relationship, we learn about His love and its implications for our life.
It starts with, continues through, and ends with His love. We are reminded that we were created in love so that we could become bearers of that love. God created us to love, He created us so that we might all love each other with only one heart, one soul.
Our baptism is the first recalling of that love, promised to us in care and protection for this life and into eternity. It joins us to the community of love received and love shared. But it is also a call to follow in that love . . . to take on the characteristics of care, love and compassion for others. That is what Jesus did over and over again. That is what we are called to do over and over again.
That takes on an even greater need in today’s world. You and I are called to bear fruit. You and I are called to take part in making the world a better place for all to live. It must be you and me. Our culture is sickened by violence. Our society seems to enshrine divisiveness, bitterness, and verbal clashes.
WHERE IS THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST IN ALL OF THIS?
The love of Christ never changed, never went away. But not enough of us are living that love. Yes, of course, most of all live that love in our small bubble of family and dear friends.
But that love of Christ must be extended by us to all that we see and interact with – not just our family and close friends.
Ah, but you say, I am weary of trying or I have too many other burdens to carry, or I am empty, I must retreat.
We can’t let that be the excuse. We must stand together with all the other lovers of Christ. How do we do that?
We center ourselves on Christ.
Just as we show love to another by spending quality time with that person, we can receive the love of Jesus by spending quality time with Jesus. If we don’t spend quality time with Jesus, how can Jesus spend quality time with us to give us his love?
But through prayer and studying His word in scripture, something happens gradually. As we pour out our thoughts to God and think about the words of the Lord to us in the Bible, we gradually soak up the words of God to us and they become part of us. We discover that the words of the Bible are a love letter from God to us. As we spend quality time with Jesus to allow him spend quality time with us, we get new insights into life and into our lives and the world around us. We also become happier and that time in prayer with Jesus every day is the happiest part of the day.
Jesus has chosen you and me to be His bearers of the message. It is a good and joyful thing.
We can be that if we allow ourselves to be open to the power of His call. God is calling you and me to do to make a positive change in the world around you. We must respond because the Lord says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you.”
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and make me fruitful in your love, mercy, kindness, and compassion. May there be nothing in my life which keeps me from your love and joy.”
While the grace of God given as a gift in Jesus is first, our reception of that gift is as important if the act of giving is to be completed. We show that we have received this gift when we, like Jesus, also dare to reach out in love. When we speak an enhancing word, perform a loving action, behave a little less selfishly, and a little more selflessly, then the gift is given and received, again and again.