Wednesday, March 28, 2007

V. He Sustains Us at Every Moment

Please read Chapter 15 of the Gospel of John.

As the chapter begins, Jesus uses the image of the vine and the branches:

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower…I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing…abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

The vine, the main stem conducts a steady and reliable flow of nourishment to the branches. This nourishment? The love, the grace of God the Father flowing through Jesus that sustains all of creation in being.

And the relationship of the vine to the branch is that of abiding: a moment-by-moment, vital, dynamic, enlivening, nourishing relationship.

When we pray, we receive a renewed flow of divine nourishment into our hearts and our lives in every circumstance in which we find ourselves. As we are able to realize that we are being nourished and feel this flow of love, of grace into our lives, we are able to be courageous in the face of opposition and trouble.

This is the “secret” of Jesus’ confidence. His relationship with the Father conducts the Father’s love to him constantly. He receives courage and care from the Father and so has the strength to carry on his mission. And so he can truthfully say to his disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled.”

In your prayer and reflection, ask the Lord, ask the Father to abide in you.

Ask him to pour his love into your heart and life so you don’t have to be afraid in any circumstance of your life

Ask for constant nourishment, faith, courage, and strength.

Feel his care for you. Watch the events of your life for evidence of this care.

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