In today's Gospel, John 15: 1-8, Jesus says to us: I am the true vine, and my Father the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit....Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me....[W]ithout me you can do nothing," just as a branch separated from a fruit tree bears nothing!
You and I are attached to the Vine through baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation and other sacraments and thus bear the of fruit of love, which lasts into eternity. We strengthen our attachment to the Vine through prayer and self-sacrificing acts of love: love of our family members--our spouses, our children, our grandchildren--other relatives, members of our religious community (if religious men/women), and persons we touch through various encounters in person or through others ways of encounter. We grow in love, Jesus tells us, by the action of His "Father, the vine grower." However, if we, the "branches", fail to bear the fruit of love, the Father, Jesus tells us, "will take us away"--we "will be thrown out like a branch and wither."
What am I, what are you, doing to remain attached, and strengthen our attachment, to the true Vine? What am I, what are you doing to co-operate with the Father, "the vine grower"?