Gospel text (John 15,1-8): Jesus said to his disciples, «I am the true vine and my Father is the winegrower. If any of my branches doesn’t bear fruit, he breaks it off; and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, that it may bear even more fruit. You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you; live in me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you if you don't remain in me.
»I am the vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not remain in me is thrown away as they do with branches and they wither. Then they are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask whatever you want and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit: it is then that you become my disciples».
Comment: Fr. Juan Marques i Suriñach (Vilamarí, Girona, Spain)
"My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit"
Today, the Gospel offers us the allegory of the vine and the branches. Christ is the true vine, we are the branches and the Father is the vine grower.
The Father wants us all to bear abundant fruit. It is quite logical. The vine grower plants his vine so that it bears much fruit. If we set up a company, we want it to be profitable. Jesus insists: «It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain» (Jn 15:16).
You have been chosen. God has taken notice of you. Through the Baptism He has grafted you onto the true vine that is Christ. You have Christ's life, our Christian life. You own the main element to bear fruit: your union with Christ, for Jesus says it quite clearly: «Apart from me you can do nothing» (Jn 15:5). «His strength is nothing but mildness; nothing is so strong as gentleness, but nothing is so gentle as real strength» (St. Francis of Sales). How many things have you been trying to do without Christ? The fruit the Father is expecting from us is that of the good deeds and the practice of the virtues. Which is the union with Christ that allows us to bear this fruits? Faith and charity, that is, to remain in God's grace.
When you live in God's grace, all your virtuous acts are especially pleasant fruits for the Father. They are deeds Jesus Christ does through you. They are Christ's deeds that glorify the Father and become a heaven for you. It is worth living always in God's grace! "Whoever does not remain in me [because of sin] is thrown away as they do with branches and they wither; (…) and thrown into the fire and burned" (Jphn 15:6). This is a clear allusion to hell. Are you like a branch full of life?
Let the Virgin Mary help us to increase the grace so that we can bear much fruit to glorify the Father.