Vicar’s Reflection: 3 May 2015, 5th Sunday of Easter
Life is precious. Sadly, loss of life seems to be the main theme of recent media headlines. The earthquake in Nepal could have claimed as many as 4000 lives; the 100th commemoration of Gallipoli reminds us of thousands of soldiers who died for our freedom; the Bali executions have now taken place after months of appeals and delay; in the news are the trials of various murderers. This is very sombre stuff! The words of Jesus in today’s Gospel are reminders of life. “I am the true vine…you are the branches…(you will) bear much fruit!” These words bring us back to what is truly important – bearing fruit. The life-giving power of a fruitful vine has been a symbol of the people of Israel from the times of Noah who was said to be the first one to plant vines (Genesis 9:20) and to produce wine. Wine, as an alcoholic drink has its dangers, but in ancient times it was a safe source of hydration and nourishment in an arid climate where stagnant water could be a source of illness or death. “Do not drink water only, but take a little wine to help your digestion” Timothy was advised by Paul (1 Tim 5:20). “I am the vine – you are the branches” said Jesus. He is the source of life-giving wisdom and power. As we are in communion with Him, His words will inspire and nourish faith, hope and love; and most especially - life.