| John 15: 1-8
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."
Today's prayer intention - for those who are unemployed or underemployed.
Unfortunately, my time is limited today, so today's reflection is from Fr. John Hardon:
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During His discourse at the Last Supper, Christ left us the most important principle of the spiritual life, namely the absolute necessity of being united with Him. Through the analogy of a vine and its branches, He explained what it means to be joined with Him, under what conditions, and what are the blessings we can expect from this union with the Savior.
St. Augustine sets the groundwork for a correct understanding of this mystery of faith ...
"In this passage of the Gospels, where the Lord says that He is the vine and His disciples are the branches, He is speaking of Himself as the Head of the Church and of us as His members. He identifies Himself as Mediator between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus.
"A vine and its branches have the same nature. What this means is that He who is God, whose nature we do not possess, became Man. Human nature thus became part of Him, who is the Vine, so that we human beings might became His members." - (Treatise on St. John, 80, 1).
Christ therefore declares that He is the Vine, and His Father is the Vinedresser. It is not enough, however, to have been grafted on the vine through Baptism; we must bear fruit through cooperation with the graces received at Baptism. Otherwise, “every branch in me that bears no fruit He (the Father) cuts away.” But even branches that bear fruit are to expect to be trimmed. “Every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it bear even more.”
So far, Christ has said three things:
 All the supernatural life we have comes to us from Christ as the Vine, of which we are the branches.
 We must grow in the supernatural life, i.e., bear fruit. Otherwise we shall be cut off from Christ.
 As we cooperate with the graces that come to us from Christ, we are to expect trials and sufferings, in a word, to be pruned, so that we might be more fruitful in the spiritual life.
Christ goes on to stress the close relationship between Him and those who are united to Him by grace. He makes His home in them; and He bids us make our home with Him. His loving generosity to us should be met with our corresponding generosity toward Him.
This union with Christ, by His grace to us, must be requited by our voluntary response to Him. But there is no possibility of bearing any fruit in the supernatural order unless we are united with Him. There is no prospect of heaven, except through the grace received from Him. There is no chance of holiness, unless we are joined with the Vine.
Then comes one of the most important statements in the New Testament. The Latin Vulgate says, “Sine me nihil potestis facere.” The literal English declares, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). In other words, without divine grace, which comes from Christ through the Church, we can do nothing on the way to heaven, nothing that makes us holy in this life or deserves the beatific vision in the life to come.
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Take care and God Bless.