Branches bearing fruit on the Vine

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, are all very popular tools, nowadays. Their growth and popularity are good indicators of how important it is for people to be connected with others. The desire to be part of a group, to let people know who we are, and to be connected with other people is almost an innate desire in each of us. Mankind is constantly seeking fulfillment. And in the search for fulfillment, many times it finds not fulfillment, but lesser things, like power, wealth, fame, popularity, and pleasure. Mistakenly, mankind will embrace these, thinking it has found its ultimate goal. About this, Saint Augustine simply says, “…for Thou hast made us for Thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in Thee.” -1

In the Gospel of John, we hear the words, “…Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” -2 Very often in these posts, the doing of positive things, is not only recommended, but is the purpose of the post. However, our acts of kindness and love for those we are connected to, grow out of our connection with Christ. So we must strive to be, first and foremost, at one with Him. For it is in our conviction of His love for us, of His forgiveness of all the wrong we have done; because of those assurances, we are filled with the desire to share this joy, this fervor with others. Then our connections with others can be something special. Our interaction with others won’t be just talking about circumstances, or events, or ourselves. It can be the mutual discussion, by both parties, of each one’s embrace of life, the true purpose of life, the expression of love and healing with our fellow man. Yes, we will still laugh and cry, feel good and bad. We will still wonder why certain things are permitted to happen. But in all of this we will know that Christ is standing there with us, with our friends. He may even be speaking through our words of encouragement and cheerfulness to those we mingle with and helping them bear fruit. Or, He may be using them to console us and helping us grow.

None of this however, can happen, if we pursue only the lesser goals that life presents. Though wealth, and power and all the rest may hold a certain allure for each of us, we cannot, must not forfeit our ultimate goal for them. All the restlessness that we feel, all that we strive for can only be satisfied until we feel the calm of resting close to Him. And only in that closeness will we know that our love for others can and will bear fruit.

-1 Confessions, Chapter 1, line 1
-2 John 15: 4

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