THE SUPPER ENDED with the singing of a hymn. As they left the room and walked through the city, He continued speaking. And He told them this parable:
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine-dresser. Every branch in Me that bears no fruit He will take away; and every branch that bears fruit He will cleanse, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remain on the vine, so 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 bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he shall be cast outside as the branch and wither; and they shall gather them up and cast them into the fire, and they shall burn. If you abide in Me, and if My words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done to you. In this is My Father glorified, that you may bear very much fruit, and become My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love. If you keep My commandments you will abide in My love, as I also have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do the things I command you. No longer do I call you servants, because the servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and have appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you may love one another.”
Meditation: Without Christ we can do nothing; that is, without sanctifying grace in our souls no actions we perform–whether they be good actions or bad–will help lead us to heaven. We must remain in Him, in grace. Otherwise, we are as helpless to merit heaven as a cut-off branch is to grow and bear fruit. The great tragedy of serious sin is that it cuts us off from Him.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. 237-238. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Drawing by Albert H Winkler.