Making our Home in Jesus
Today’s Gospel reading is taken from middle of the Last Supper discourse. Jesus speaks about his relationship to his disciples. In his metaphor of the vine and the branches, Jesus is referencing the Hebrew Scriptures. In the Hebrew Scriptures, Israel is the vineyard, and Yahweh himself tends the vineyard. One of the primary themes of John’s Gospel is to show Jesus to be the fulfilment of God’s promises to Israel. In this passage, Jesus teaches his disciples that his relationship with them will not end after his death; he will remain with them always. This unity between Jesus and his disciples is the basis for their ability to continue to do the work that he began. Similarly, Jesus’ presence with us through the Gift of the Holy Spirit enables us to continue the work of love and reconciliation that he began.
Jesus also teaches his disciples about the importance of the words he has taught to them. Just as Jesus will remain in the disciples, so too will his words. We come to know Jesus through the Scriptures, the living Word of God. Our commitment to be Christ’s disciples is sustained through God’s Word. This commitment is also strengthened by our life of prayer and nourished by the Eucharist. Through the Eucharist, Jesus dwells in us, remains with us, and transforms us so that we might bear fruit in his name. We observe many people who act in ways that show their commitment to serve their neighbour. People do feed the hungry, care for the sick, shelter the homeless, and give alms to the poor. These actions become acts of Christian discipleship when they are motivated by our relationship with Jesus. Whatever the immediate results, Jesus promises us that these actions will bear fruit when we undertake them in his name.