Fifth Week of Easter Wednesday
John 15: 1-8
Have you ever had a rock-solid plan then have it all pocked at and changed? That is what is going on in our readings today.
Here is what is going on in our first reading by way of example. On this, side is the Jewish people and the religious leaders; they are being represented today by all the adults. All they have known for hundreds of years is being told to hang on to the Torah, be faithful to God, and a sign of their faithfulness to God is circumcision. Staying faithful to the Torah was their way of showing to the world, they are God’s chosen people. They had never had to deal with anything they are about to deal with because it has always been them against the pagan world.
On this side, is all the gentile converts that Paul and Barnabas are making as they talk about the Good News of Jesus Christ. This group is growing widely and almost out of control, and questions are being asked about they are to believe in. They are represented today by all of our school children and their teachers.
There is a meeting in Jerusalem call the First Council of Jerusalem where the question is not about exclusion, but about inclusion, and do these new converts need to abide by all the laws of the Torah or not? What sign can you give us that these gentiles are converted to the faith? Paul would eventually say, “All that is well and good, but at the end of the Torah, is Jesus Christ, and that is what these new gentiles are being called to believe in. The sign you need to know is Jesus Christ.”
In our Gospel today, Jesus is saying, “I am the sign that you need to know and believe in me. Stay connected to me, somehow just stay connected.”
What will be our sign that we are connected today to the vine, of Jesus Christ?