Sunday Sipping: Fifth Sunday of Easter

A branch’s ability to produce fruit is absolutely dependent on it remaining on the vine. A branch’s life is absolutely dependent on it adhering to the vine, from which it draws life. So it is with us in our faith journeys. Only by remaining in Him, can we bear fruit, i.e. do what is good and holy. Only by adhering to Him do we live to the full.

What does it mean to remain in Him? We see the answer in the Second Reading, from the First Letter of St. John: “Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us”. The presence of His Spirit and the following of the commandments indicate that we have His Life coursing through us, that we are tied to Christ. Both Love and law are required, power and responsibility, heart and action.

Too often do we forget this, and we end up emphasizing one over the other, which is unhealthy. Since the presence of the Spirit naturally leads to outward action, love without fruits borne out in action seems unnatural. On the other hand, overemphasizing action, without concern for love, leads to lame works, devoid of power or substance. Worse yet, we all too often willfully let go of our Lord, only to, sooner or later, wither from lack of Him!

Brothers and sisters, may God be gracious to us on this Fifth Sunday of Easter, filling us with His Love and moving us to action. May we never lose sight of our radical dependence on God and by cooperating with His grace, may we be filled with His Life and fruitful in due season. A blessed Sunday to you all!