One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

May 06, 2010

For Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

John 15:9-11

Today’s Gospel picks up from yesterday’s [15:1-8], in which Christ said his Father is a vine grower, Christ is the vine, and we are his branches.
Without pruning, a grapevine grows many thinner branches that do not support as much fruit, but sap the overall strength of the vine.
The word, teaching, or commandments of Christ are the pruning hook or knife of the Father’s love by which the Father cuts back or prunes his children, to guide our growth for greater strength and more plentiful fruit.
Christ says in today’s Gospel:
As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love.

The Lord says three things work together to bind his us to his Father: LOVE, COMMANDMENTS, and JOY.
He says love and commandments need each other.
IF you keep my commandments,
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

IF we do not keep his commandments, we will not remain in his love.
He tells us today what wished-for end is to drive the love that keeps the Father’s commandments.
I have told you this so that my JOY might be in you
and your JOY might be complete.

The Lord’s joy filling us and fulfilling our joy is the goal that drives the love that keeps the commandments that prune us for strength and fruitfulness.
LOVE, COMMANDMENTS, and JOY!
That is the parable, the natural logic, of the grapevine that is stronger and more fruitful because of pruning.
However, it is a natural logic that sin and unbelief reject.
LOVE, COMMANDMENTS, and JOY!
The opposite three— HATRED, DISOBEDIENCE, and SADNESS— are the very things the Son of God chose to suffer on earth at the hands of us sinners.
As he says in tomorrow’s continuation [15:12-17] of this Gospel: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
God himself has suffered the cutting and pruning at our hands, thus keeping his Father’s commandments and remaining in his love— for the sake of filling and fulfilling our joy with his.
In the Body and Blood of Christ we can harvest, eat, and drink the joy of the Lord, only if we also eat and drink the same willingness he had to undergo the pruning that cuts out sin and keeps the Father’s commandments so as to remain in his love.

UT IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS
That God Be Glorified in All







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