We are not unlike the fruit that depends on the vine — God is our vine, we are His branches. Register file photo

Essay: Taking ‘root’ with Christ

By  Teresa Siby, Catholic Register Special
  • March 17, 2021

The vine provides its branches nutrients, support and endurance amidst hard conditions. This anecdote portrays man’s dependence upon God. As we experience stormy climates in our life, our Lord is our strength. Yet, why do some plants bear good fruit whereas others bear bad fruit? What differentiates a nutrient-rich environment from a toxic one?

As Christians, we thrive in a nutrient-rich environment where we can bear good fruit for God’s kingdom. Abiding in Christ takes root over time. The word “ROOT” answers how we can express our relationship to Christ in a socially-oriented Church during these isolated times.

“R” stands for relationships. God made us social beings, depending on one another to survive. We must seek holy relationships like Jesus did with His disciples. Despite the pandemic restrictions, technology can unify the Christian family. During the lockdown, I joined youth groups and Bible studies with people all over Ontario because the virtual platforms make these relationships more accessible.

“O” stands for overwhelming. Sometimes, our prayers become tasks and our relationship with Christ becomes an obligation. I, too, am guilty of letting my faith become a series of unconscious acts. Nonetheless, Cody Asbury’s song “Reckless Love” reminds me of God’s “overwhelming, neverending, reckless love.” When I heard these lyrics, I was battling thoughts of the unworthiness of a bright future, but this song left me in wonder of God’s breathtaking love.

“O” stands for openness. Faith can be fickle because it requires you to believe without seeing. Still, we must trust God’s plan and know that His timing is perfect, even if it does not align with our plans. Have faith and be open to God’s plan because He can see the bigger picture. As I began my first quad semester of Grade 12, I was dreading having biology and chemistry simultaneously in a condensed timeline. Amidst this uncertainty, I was shocked at how He used this challenge to transform my spiritual and physical health, while I developed a bond with my teacher and ended with a high 90 mark.

“T” stands for time. Every relationship requires time and effort. “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be given to you” (Matthew 6:33). By making time for prayer, you can grow in your relationship with Christ while He relieves your burdens. At the start of the pandemic, both my older sisters moved home and we were constantly arguing, bringing light to each other’s faults. However, we learned that change comes with time and was only possible if we abide in Christ. Instead of criticizing each other, we built each other up and set realistic responsibilities that restored relationship and family harmony.

He is our vine and we are His branches. Our lives depend on our relationship with Christ and our relationship depends on our environment.

Let us take ROOT in Christ and ask ourselves: Are we bearing  good or bad fruit? Are we cultivating a nutrient-rich environment or tolerating a toxic one?

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