When I looked up the gospel reading of the day, I was excited to find that it was one of my favorite passages. John’s gospel is fascinating. The author uses such rich imagery. John’s gospel contains many “I am” analogies, to help us understand Christ on many different levels.
The beginning of the school year is always a very stressful time for teachers, readying themselves for their new batch of students. I have a large bulletin board across the back of my classroom. Annually, I put up a quote from this passage, complete with twisted vines, 3 Dimensional leaves and plastic grapes. Of course, it is there for the children, but it remains an important visual reminder for me! When things get rough those first couple of weeks, I must remember to make time in the chaos for God. He remains in and with me when I remain in Him. I can’t experience that closeness – that peace – that unity, unless I spend time in silence with him. As the passage states, “Without Him, I can do nothing.” NOTHING! NOTHING!
In order to be a good teacher, wife, mother and witness, I must cling to that vine! Apart from Him, I would just be spinning my wheels – marking time. This is a great reminder as we enter the summer months as well. Our children look forward to the break from studying, test taking and routine. We must remember that taking a break from school does not mean taking a break from God. In fact, summer can be a very spiritually enriching time, if used well. Say a family rosary, or go to mass an extra day of the week. Go on a nature walk/scavenger hunt to find 10 of God’s beautiful creations. If you have planned a vacation, include a tour of a church in that area.
May God bless your day, and fill you with His Grace. Happy Summer!
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 everyone 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.”