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Blessed Virgin Mary

Weekly Reflection

Fourth Sunday of Lent 'B'

March 10, 2024

John 15:1-8

This Sunday we commemorate the Institution of our Church, our denomination. In the Gospel, Jesus doesn’t give us a definition of love, but instead, He gives a description of the vine and the branches and says that a branch cannot bear fruit on its own. It is contact with love that makes you loving, just as the branch that remains on the vine bears fruit. Whoever remains in Jesus learns what love is that at its source is Jesus.

But it is also possible to learn from the branches since the same Spirit of love runs through the vine and the branches. The branches that bear much fruit, who love much, bring glory to the Father, because they make it possible for others to love, by coming into contact with their fruitful lives. The Father is glorified when we love much and so show that we are disciples of Jesus.

Love is what forms Church, parishes, communities, because it makes us go out of ourselves and live in the good people that we love. It moves us to make their thoughts and feelings our own, to share in their lives, and so become one with them.

Often we branches may judge ourselves for not bearing much fruit, but the Vine is greater than the branches, and He knows everything. Not only does He know our fruitlessness; He also knows our longings, God searches the heart for the goodness of our desires. So long as there is some fruit of love in our hearts, it shows that we remain on the Vine. All those who believe in the name of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, are branches of the true Vine: they remain in God and He in them.

The great lesson that Jesus teaches in the readings this Sunday is that we are to love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. This is how we will know that we remain branches of the vine, bearing much fruit by deeds of love.