WEDNESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
THEME: THE TRUE VINE
WEDNESDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
REGINA CAELI CATHOLIC CHURCH,
KAREN PARISH – NAIROBI
MAY 13, 2020
FIRST READING: Acts 15:1-6
PSALM: Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5
GOSPEL READING: John 15:1-8
SERMON BY: FR. STEPHEN OMONDI
• I remember an incidence in the seminary when a guy planted a vine next to the chapel.
• Now I know a few things I didn’t know before:
1. A young vine is not allowed to fruit for the first three years.
2. The ground must be perfectly clean.
3. Each year it is cut drastically back to develop and conserve its energy and life.
4. When mature it is pruned in December and January.
5. It bears two types of branches and one produces fruit and one does not.
6. The branch that does not bear fruit is pruned back.
7. Most important the vine cannot produce the crop of which it is capable without constant drastic pruning
• Today’s gospel passage presents Jesus as the true vine, a symbol of the Old Testament frequently uses for Israel, God’s covenant people.
• In contrast to Israel’s failure, Jesus claims to be the true vine bringing forth the fruit, the fruit that Israel failed to produce.
• An important thing in this parable is the secret of fruitfulness, which is abiding in Christ. He says, “Remain in me, as I in you.”
• We used to have a song that I no longer hear nowadays, Mimi ni mzabibu • I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
• What is the work of the vine dresser? He prunes the branches to make it fruitful. Am sorry you might not want to hear this but some of the broken relationships you have were simply to give you better relationships.
• You may lose a job and regret and curse and even sue only to land a better job and you look back and smile and say thank you Jesus. • The secret is learn to let go. It might be painful but it pays. • Jesus says, I am the vine, you are the branches. A repeat, so to lay emphasis.
• Without me you cannot do anything. Ithui totare nawe tore ahuthu, hinya witu niwe Kristu, Penge sitaweza safari ndefu ya shida, penge yangu sitaweza kufika mbinguni. Yesu uwe kando yangu nahondha wa roho yangu, nipe nguvu za kushinda majaribu ya shetani.
• Fruit happens because you abide in the vine. You connect to me I produce the fruit. Tawi lizaalo lizidi kuzaa kwani mu matawii nanyi kweli ni mzabibu
• So what type of fruit?
• Gal. 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the spirit, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against these things there is no law.
• There are many Christians out there who have professed the faith but it is all word without action.
• They are like someone who connects the phone to the charger yes but forget to turn on the switch. So even if that phone remains there overnight my friend your battery will still be low in the morning.
• The one who does not remain in Jesus is like a branch that is thrown away and it withers. And the branches are gathered and thrown into the fire.
• A branch that is already cut off from the tree can only be firewood, only this time we are talking about a Christian and the fire is hell.
• We were not created to be firewood in hell. • John is clear about the mission of Jesus, he came to love and to save not to condemn.
• One central biblical principle which is also a life principle is that uselessness brings disaster.
• We can’t be effective Christians without being united to Jesus.
• Abiding in Christ means being in close contact with Him. In his life Jesus withdrew many at times from the crowds to be alone with His Father.
• So if you want to know how effective you are as a Christian just check the following a) Your faithfulness to the sacraments and prayer b) The kinds of fruit you produce c) Keeping his commandments
• The mark of a good disciple therefore remains one who: a) Enriches his own life producing again good fruit. b) He brings glory to God. How? That by people looking at your Christian life they want to glorify God who made you like that. Remember the story of Job. Job 1:8, Yahweh says of Job, a sound and honest man who fears God and shuns evil.
• The greatest glory of our Christian life is that by our life and conduct we can bring glory to God. That like Jesus God can look up from heaven and say this is my son or this is my daughter in whom am well pleased.
• So the question is, Do you remain in Jesus and how much fruit do you produce?