What is stopping you from being fully alive?

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2 May 2018

The image that captured me from today’s Gospel is that of the withered branch. It’s the antithesis of what I want to be. The contrast between a dead, withered branch destined for our green bin, and a living, healthy branch that is still part of the tree is a powerful picture. What is Jesus trying to say in this passage? If we want to be alive, to achieve our full potential as human persons, we need to have a living, healthy relationship with him!

Jesus’ constant refrain today is: “remain in me!” The image of the vine fleshes it out a bit. This is no passive “staying put” that he is talking about, but an organic, two-way, relational thing. Like a branch from a vine, we receive all of our life and vitality from him. That implies an openness on our part: to know where that life is coming from and to consciously keep reaching out for it and receiving. Otherwise, we become dead wood.

The question that rises in me, then, is what is stopping that life-giving sap from flowing in my life? Am I looking for things other than Jesus to provide me with the sources of life and vitality that I need? Are there habit-patterns or attitudes I’ve chosen that stop me from being open to the life of Jesus entering fully in?

Lord, please help me to see these things for what they are, and give me both the motivation and the means to change. Show me the way to fullness of life!

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