The Fifth Sunday of Easter Dear my friends, Here is the Gospel for us today according to John 15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, 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 it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.” This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ. *** In the Gospel today, Jesus Christ speaks of himself as the true vine. It has religious connotations to it. When Jesus Christ calls himself the true vine he makes clear that it is only through himself that one can become grafted into the true vineyard of the Lord. By speaking of himself as the true vine, Jesus Christ wants to offer true life for us that is the abundant life which comes from God and which results in great fruitfulness. Usually, the vine dresser must carefully prune the vine before it can bear good fruit. As we know it well, vine characteristically has two kinds of branches, those which bear fruit and those which don’t. The non-bearing branches must be carefully pruned back in order for the vine to conserve its strength for bearing good fruit. Jesus used this image to describe the kind of life he produces in those who are united with him. As branches must unite with the vine, so we must unite with Jesus Christ. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can we, unless we abide in him. Jesus Christ says there can be no fruit in our lives apart from him. The fruit he speaks of here is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 14:17). In Perpetual Adoration of the Eucharist, while worshipping Jesus Christ, we learn to abide in him like a branch unites with the true vine. He promises that we will bear much fruit if we abide in him and allow him to purify us. Let’s trust in the Lord Jesus Christ’s abiding presence with us. Let’s pray: Lord Jesus Christ, may we be one with you in all that we say and do. Draw us close that we may glorify you and bear fruit for your kingdom. May we be fruit-bearing with the fruit of righteousness, peace, and joy in you now and forever. Amen.