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Essay: Through Jesus, we are all connected

By  Jacob Stocking, Catholic Register Special
  • March 17, 2021

Verses 1-17 from Chapter 15 of John’s Gospel provide a simple yet elaborate explanation of our sacred relationship with God. 

Jesus begins by saying, “I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener” (John 15:1). 

To abide in Him is to let His word flow through us as sap flows from a grapevine through its branches. This becomes very difficult when we are more focused on the numerous challenges around us than the Word of God inside our hearts.

We are not alone in feeling this way, as every member of the human family goes through their own challenges each day. Many of our brothers and sisters have completely lost their connection to the vine, and wither away under the pressures of an increasingly secular society.  

It is essential that those who feel their connection to Christ express it fully by sharing their boundless love for Him with the world. In doing this, those who have wilted on the vine may experience its life-giving power anew. The effect is like jump-starting a dead car, where we share the love of Christ with our neighbour who needs a spiritual boost. 

Nowadays people are rediscovering the importance of communal relationships. We are all branches on the same vine and must work together to grow Jesus’ message and spread it throughout the vineyard that is our world.

There are many different ways we can do this, both individually and collectively. First, we must remove as many distractions as possible from our own lives. These include excessive social media use, negative thoughts and people who tempt us to stray from the path God has laid out. By removing these blockages, the Word of God will flow through us more easily. Only then will it be able to transform our actions to more perfectly reflect His will.  

Second, we must bear in mind the social nature of the modern Church and co-ordinate our efforts with others who share the same mission. Mission-oriented outreach groups are one way to bring the Word out of our churches and into the world. Ministries like the Society of St. Vincent De Paul or the rosary apostolate are vital examples. It is only through a united effort that we may bring unity to humanity.   

In essence, our relationship with God is not only a private communion between Himself and us (as is a common perception). It is an expression of love that seeks to understand others the way that He understands us. Even those who are furthest from the vine are worthy of our love, because God commands us to love one another unconditionally. 

Together we can make others aware of these connections we share, and bring peace to the world. As Mother Teresa said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

A grapevine bears fruit because its branches share a common purpose, and by finding our purpose through abiding in God so we will also. 

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