“Remain in me, as I remain in you.”
Friday, 7 May 2021
When we read the words “remain in me”, we are reading an invitation to stay focused on Jesus, to make sure that he is our guide and that he shapes us and forms us.
What is the guidance, the shape and the form that Jesus is offering? It might be good for us to unpack that. What does the vine offer the branch? What is it that gives the vine life, which in turn nourishes the branch?
Jesus’ vision for the world, his vision for us, is very clear. If we focus on him intently, we notice that he wants to shape us so that our world, God’s creation, becomes a place where there is no greed, no hunger, no violence, no prejudice, no racism, no degradation of the earth, no suffering children and no suffering migrants. The heart of Jesus desires a society and world in which we are our brother and sister’s keeper, a world where there is no corruption, where the fortunate seek to raise those who are less fortunate. Jesus’ vision is that of a world where men and women show deep respect for each other and there is equality and opportunity. Jesus wants all people, no matter creed or sexual orientation, to feel accepted and loved. To sum it up: Jesus wants to guide us, shape us and form us to be people who continually learn how to love.
When we hear the words “remain in me”, we are being invited, urged, to allow Jesus’ vision to become our vision, our lived reality. We are being asked to make sure that all that he stands for is expressed concretely in our own lives and reflected in our daily choices and attitudes. No Christian can claim to be “remaining in Jesus” if in their daily existence and reality, they do not earnestly try to inculcate his vision; if they are not open to learning how to love more deeply and widely as he does – even when it means sacrifice!
Today we ask: do I really “remain in him”?
Do I use Jesus’ vision as my guiding principle for all the decisions I make daily?
Where do I need to open myself to love more freely?