Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
(Acts 15:1-6; John 15:1-8)
In one of her novels Anne Tyler writes of a misleading advertisement boasting “vine-grown tomatoes.” Her character criticizes the sign saying something like, “All tomatoes are vine grown, but juicy and tasty tomatoes are vine-ripened.” We know that too often tomatoes are harvested prematurely and taste as much like paper as food.
In today’s gospel Jesus exhorts us to remain close to his vine so that our lives may be fruitful. This means that we are to take his words to heart contemplating their meaning and judiciously putting them into action. Franciscan Friar of Renewal Benedict Groeschel describes how Mother Teresa once asked him if he wanted to be more productive. Of course, he did. Then Mother Teresa told him that he should make a holy hour everyday. When Fr. Benedict objected that he was too busy for that, Mother Teresa only chided him that he really did not want to do more. Fr. Benedict finally surrendered to the idea, and the outcome has been abundance in preaching, writing, and harvesting vocations.