Gospel Reflection Apr 28 – Deacon Paul Zemanek

Sunday, April 28

Fifth Sunday of Easter

John 15: 1-8


Jesus said to his disciples:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.

He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,

and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.

You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.

Remain in me, as I remain in you.

Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own

unless it remains on the vine,

so neither can you unless you remain in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches.

Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,

because without me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me

will be thrown out like a branch and wither;

people will gather them and throw them into a fire

and they will be burned.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you,

ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.

By this is my Father glorified,

that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Gospel Reflection:

Jesus declares, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” Today, Jesus is wanting us to know that as branches we are alive; and that we can grow only if we are connected to him, the True Vine.

As human beings, it is easy for us to get disconnected from the vine. It’s easy to let the ways of the world get hold of us and drain our obedience and the fruit that obedience to Jesus produces. Sometimes the pruning in our lives involves removing sin from our lives. And God is one determined gardener, and he is committed to prune things in our life such as anger, bitterness, impatience, being unmerciful, unloving, being critical of others — all dead branches that ruin our lives and cut us off from him. In pruning, God is removing the diseased and dead wood from our lives. For God prunes us in order to conform us to his character.

And so…“What in your life today needs to be removed, cut away, released, let go of? What needs to be pruned, tended, nurtured, and cared for? What fruit are you producing? How much? Is it an acceptable quality?

Friends, let us be known for our love, our joy, our peace, and our patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Let us bear this fruit, in the only way that we can…by abiding in Jesus. For apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. We can’t bear fruit without him.

Deacon Paul Zemanek