On this fifth Sunday of Easter we hear another “I am” statement of Jesus in John’s gospel: “I am the vine, you are the branches.” As the branches are an integral part of the grapevine, so we are an integral part of the presence of Christ. This intimacy with Christ is described in another way in this gospel: “Whoever remains in me and I in them bear much fruit.” The word “remain” is a favorite word for the evangelist John. It has the sense of an ongoing experience.
As we go deeper into this glorious Easter season we are reminded that God’s plan and hope for us is that we can experience this kind of intimacy with Christ together. It is also God’s hope that we can bear good fruit for the benefit of other people. Pope Francis speaks of this by telling us that we are missionary disciples. We are sent forth to spread the peace and light of Christ by what we say and what we do.
What helps you to remain in Christ? What helps you to bear good fruit?