2.1John 3:18-24
3.John 15:1-8

Jesus the true vine
The image of the vine and its branches in John’s gospel is very rich and worth exploring the relationship that exists between Jesus and his disciples. The speech of the vine and its branches is one of Jesus’ farewell discourse found in the John’s gospel. The image of the vineyard is used in the Old Testament to express God’s relationship with Israel both positively and negatively. (Psalms 80:8-13), “yet I planted you as the choice vine from the purest stock. Then how did you turn degenerate and become a wild vine?” (Jeremiah2:21). As we abide in Jesus Christ as the true vine, there is a need for spiritual pruning on the side of Jesus Christ followers.
The imagery of the vine and its branches gives us the vision of spiritual relationship that exists between the faithful Christians and Jesus. The image of the vine and its branches tells us about the interdependence and life giving. The branches of the vine make their existence depending on the main vine, in this context when we go to deeper level reflection on the gospel we understand that the vital Christian family will flourish if there is a good relationship between Christians themselves and God. The question we can ask ourselves is that “what is my relationship with others where I belong?”
“Every branch that bears fruit he prunes it to make it bear more fruit” In what ways do you see that you have been pruned by the experiences of life or by the word of God to be a more fruitful person? Meditating on this question we may come to understand that due to our life and spiritual experiences we have experienced the need for pruning and to be pruned.
The parable also reminds us that we are not the source of our own life, life is the gift from God, from our parents and from all those who have nourished us, those who have in one way or another made a contributions to make us to be who we are today. We need to be thankful people more especially to our creator who is the giver of life and to our brothers and sisters who have made their contribution towards our material and spiritual well being.
As Jesus was glorified by God, also He is glorified by our being fruitful. The gift of life that God gave to each one of at no cost must be extended to our brothers and sisters who have not yet identified the presence of God’s gift in their lives. The true identity of God was unveiled on the Cross (Glory). The question to ponder on is that “what kind God’s image of God do we portray to others?” Through life giving to others we give also the praise and glory to God. We are all invited to defend the sacredness of life, we are invited to fight away all that hinders the vitality of human person (abortion, euthanasia, suicide etc)
The inseparability of love of God and love of neighbour is both life giving and challenging. No body may claim that he abides in God when he/she cannot express the same love to the neighbour. The aim of spiritual journey is to have the sense of belonging in God.
From the first reading Acts 9:26-31 we learn the lesson about room for improvement and spiritual growth. We get this when Christians in Jerusalem could not accept easily about the conversion of St Paul, the person who had been persecuting the church of God. We see in the scenario Barnabas who had been accompanying Paul in his missionary Journey testifying that really Paul was converted. It can sometimes happen that after some major changes in our outlook or personality people who knew us previously are slow to recognize or trust the spiritual growth in us. In God always there is a room for spiritual growth and finally maturation. Conversely we can be slow to accept such changes in others. Yet it’s our hope that such growth is really possible in us and others.
Even a very courageous figure such as Paul needed a support and companionship to fulfil the mission of preaching the gospel of Christ, thus in the mission of Christ is not a personal initiative mission, it is the mission that needs a community support. As we have seen that Barnabas helped Paul in actualizing his mission goal. We can ask ourselves that who has supported us in one way or another to be where we are? To whom have I been a support? In this context we are reminded that discipleship is all about living in unity and solidarity to ensure that the mission Christ entrusted to us all flourish to all people of God, more especially to places where people have not received the good news.

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Chapisha Maoni