The vine and the branches

“I am the true vine, and my Father keeps the vineyard. He removes every branch in me that is not fruitful. He prunes every fruitful branch so it will be even more productive. The teachings I have given you have pruned you already. Be mindful that you remain in me so that I may remain in you. In the same way that a branch can’t produce fruit if it is separated from the vine, you can only produce spiritual fruit if you remain in me.

I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay in me and I in you, you’ll produce an abundance of spiritual fruit. You can’t do anything apart from me. If you are separated from me you’ll be tossed aside to wither. People will gather up these withered branches to burn in a fire. If you stay in me and my teaching stays in you, you can ask for anything and it will be done. It brings glory to my Father for you to prove to be my disciples by producing much spiritual fruit.”

JN 15:1-8

Poem – fruity people

There’s a Jewish prayer I say
every day
over the grapes I eat
at breakfast
and the wine I drink
at supper.

Blessed are you
Lord our God
Ruler of the Universe,
who creates
the fruit of the vine.

I’ve said it twice
every day
for a year,
but this time
I heard it
differently.

Here’s the thing –
God creates the fruit.
We are the fruit as well.
This means that if someone
isn’t “fruity”,
they aren’t productive,
they’re not doing anything
that seems useful,
it’s not something to blame them for.
That is entirely the result of God.
Don’t blame them
and don’t get mad at them.
It isn’t their fault.

Love them the way they are.

Also you can’t get mad at
a grape
or a plum
or an apple.

They’re all different
and they’re all needed.
One isn’t better than the other,
and all were created
by God
to be that way.

The parable of the sower explained

Jesus said “Do you not understand this parable? Then how are you going to be able to understand any of them? The seed is the word of God. The sower is the one who shares it with others. The people along the path are those who have heard the message about the kingdom and don’t understand it. Satan has snatched away the words that were sown in their hearts so they would not believe and be saved.”

“As for the seed sown on rocky ground, this represents the people who hear the word and immediately receive it joyfully. However, because they are not rooted in their faith, they believe for a little while but stumble when troubles come because of the word.”

“Regarding the seed sown among thorns, these are the people who hear the word but are distracted and paralyzed by worry and greed, and the word is not able to take root in them and produce any fruit.”

“But the seed sown on good ground represents the people who hear the word with honest and open hearts. They understand it, welcome it, and through endurance are able to bear much fruit, even up to 100 times what was sown.”

MT 13:18-24, MK 4:13-20, LK 8:11-15

The parable of the vineyard owner.

Jesus began to teach them again using parables.

“There once was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it and included a winepress and a watchtower. He leased it to tenant farmers and then he went away for a very long time. When it was harvest time, he sent his servant to the farmers so that he could collect some fruit from them. Instead of giving him fruit, the farmers beat the servant and sent him away with nothing. The landowner sent another servant and they treated him just as badly. Then the landowner sent a third servant and the farmers killed him. He sent other servants, and they were all either beaten or killed.

Finally he decided to send his much loved son thinking ‘Surely they will respect him.’ But the tenant farmers talked amongst themselves and decided that since this was the heir they should kill him and collect the inheritance for themselves. They did just that and then threw him out of the vineyard.

Because of their shameful behavior, the owner of the vineyard went there himself to destroy the farmers and let other people manage his land and crops.”

Jesus asked the religious leaders if they had ever heard the verse from Scriptures that says ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. The Lord has done this and it is wonderful to see!’

“Therefore it follows that the kingdom of God will be taken away from the original tenants and given to those who are good stewards and can produce healthy fruit. All who stumble on this rock shall be broken, and all those who this rock falls on will be ground to dust!”

The chief priests and scribes started to look for a way to arrest him because they knew he was speaking these words against them. However, they were afraid of the crowds because they regarded him as a prophet, so they left him alone for the time being.

MT 21:33-46, MK 12:1-12, LK 20:9-19