Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for April 28, 2024

Reflection for April 28, 2024

Bearing fruit

 Abiding in Christ's love enriches the Kingdom of God

by Sister Sally Ann Brickner

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him/her will bear much fruit.” Jn 15:5

Do you consider yourself to have a “green thumb?” As you reflect on your experience of growing plants, whether for aesthetics or for food, you may recall carefully preparing the soil, selecting the seeds, planting them, watering and nurturing them, and cutting the plants back to prevent over-growth. And then, after much labor and patience, you enjoy the beautiful blooms or abundant harvest!

The Gospel for the 5th Sunday of Easter comes from Jesus’ Last Supper discourse to his disciples in which He uses creation imagery. God, the Source of All Life, is the vine grower, the Master Gardener who carefully inspects and prunes branches that no longer bear fruit. Similarly, Jesus tells his disciples (us included) that He is the vine and we are the branches. Only if we remain in Him and He in us will we bear much fruit, because without Him we can do nothing. His word, Jesus says, is the sword that prunes us, enabling us to bear more fruit.

ABIDE/REMAIN in me. St. John reminds us that it is by loving one another that we remain in Christ Jesus. “A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34)

SUBMIT to being pruned. Constant conversion of heart, being turned to the Lord, is necessary in order to become disciples who love as Jesus loved us.

BEAR fruit. A severed branch withers and dies. But when we, the branches, remain in Jesus who is the true vine His grace works in us and, through the power of God, we bear fruit. Without Jesus nothing good comes forth.

The reading from the Acts of the Apostles exemplifies how Saul/Paul became a faithful disciple. He submitted to Jesus’ saving words, remained in Him, and bore fruit by the power of God’s grace. St. Paul spent himself tirelessly, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the Gentiles.

Sharing Jesus’ life and love is our baptismal call also. May we abide in Him; submit to His will, and bear fruit that will last.


04/26/2024 11:38 am

Excellent rflection and much food for thought, thanks Sally Ann..

04/26/2024 3:38 pm

Three important responses: abide, submit to pruning, bear fruit!

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