I am the Vine and You are the Branches

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Reflection and original Mandala artwork by Henrita Frost, SSND

Recently I finished this mandala.  For it, I had chosen the theme from Scripture, John 15:5.  Why I chose it, I don’t remember except the words of Jesus came to me “I am the vine and you are the branches”.  Since I finished the mandala, I have often repeated these words “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

At this time, what are these words saying to me as my being is often invaded by the violence that is a daily, even a minute by minute occurrence in our nation and the entire Global Community.

I remember that in his January 1st, World Day of Peace message, Pope Francis called us to “prayerfully and actively banish violence from our hearts, words and deeds, and to become nonviolent people and build nonviolent communities that care for our common home.”  I wonder if it is not foolish of me to think that I can help with banishing violence, even in my own life.

As I glance at the mandala the message returns “I am the vine and you are the branches.”  The center of it bids me – come to the vine, Jesus, and then I remember more of the verse “As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit: but apart from me you can do nothing.”  Suddenly, I realize it is a New Year and a new revelation, for I hear this message with urgency, I am bound to the vine and we are bound to the vine and together vine and branches are one.

As one, we are called to respond to the suffering within the Global Community.  We are bound to the vine, Jesus, the all compassionate one who is the source of our compassion.  With Jesus, we can bear fruit, release compassion and dispel violence wherever we are.

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