Abiding in the Lord

9 May 2007. Wednesday of the 5th Week of Easter
John 15, 1-8 The Vine and the Branches

The image of the vine and the branches reminds us to always abide in the Lord. Let me present an analogy. As we know, analogies are imperfect. But nevertheless, the analogy may help us understand the image of the vine and the branches.

There are people who are all over the place; who spread themselves thinly; who widely extend themselves too much that they lose focus and direction. There is nothing that anchors them and gives them their fundamental meaning. But when they find someone to love and who love them in return, suddenly they acquire some direction and meaning in their life. Thus, in order to remain focused, these people have to abide in the person who gave their lives focus and meaning.

Like the branches in the vine, when the branches are cut off from the main stem, they die. They have been cut off from the very source of their nourishment.

So how do we find ourselves cut off from Jesus? Let us put this principle in a very narrow application — in the sense of using wisely our time. Leo Rock SJ wrote this as an examination on the use of our time.

How do I kill time?

Let me count the ways.

By worrying about things

over which I have no control.

Like the past.

Like the future.

By harboring resentment

and anger

over hurts

real or imagined.

By disdaining the ordinary

or, rather, what I

so mindlessly

call ordinary.

By concern over what’s in it for me,

rather than what’s in me

for it.

By failing to appreciate what is

because of might-have-beens,

should-have-beens,

could-have-beens.

These are some of he ways

I kill time.

Jesus didn’t kill time.

He gave life to it.

His own.

Thus when we are cut off from Jesus, we are like wasting time: when we worry about things which we cannot control; when we harbor resentments over past hurts; or hating the ordinary; or what we can get out of anything; or failing to appreciate the present moment.

When we abide in Jesus, then, we will not lose focus. We gain the central and fundamental point that gives direction to our lives.

*Canto Cinco (C5) choir member, Mei-ann Zamudio, praying using scripture in their retreat at Manresa Retreat House, Banawe, Quezon City.

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