Reflections: 29th April 2018

A Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

JN 15:1-8 ( )

Today’s Gospel was very important to me at a certain time in my life. I was going through a difficult time – God seemed very far away. Was He, or She, really there and, if so, where and how? What was He / She doing about suffering and natural disasters etc?

As I didn’t know much about vines, I imagined Jesus talking about an apple-tree in today’s story: “I am the apple-tree, you are the branches, every branch that….” Wait a minute! He said “I AM the vine – not just the trunk, and you, a branch, tacked on.” No, He said that He was the WHOLE thing – roots, trunk, branches, leaves, fruit and all.

It was, and is, very hard to imagine, but it did, and continues to, give me a very strong sense of closeness – a sense of somehow being IN God and of God IN me. We both draw life from the same sap that flows through the roots, trunk and branches. Jesus seems to say to me: “I know that you find it hard even to imagine this but try to trust that it IS true - that this is how close I want us to be.” I try to do so, but struggle at times.

And there are consequences for my daily living. The tree needs to produce fruit, apples – and they come through the branches. God NEEDS us branches, you and me, to bear fruit on earth. That’s our job as Christians. To do this we have to continue closely united with the tree.


For You are always close to me, following all my ways.

May I be always close to you, following all Your ways, Lord.

(John Glynn)

Brian McLaughlin C.S.Sp. – Ordained in 1967, Fr. Brian is a former Provincial of the Spiritans in Ireland who missioned for many years in Brazil and the Philippines. He has also served in England and the USA.