Posts Tagged ‘5th Sunday of Easter’

We have this small icon in our kitchen and dining room. I appreciate the literal

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. St. John 15: 5

teaching that goes on in an icon.  This is obviously teaching us, “I am the Vine and you are the branches.”  The branches are growing directly out of the side of Jesus.   Jesus is seated on the grave where He laid His head in death.  The reason the branches are growing is He is risen, indeed!  He is risen and gives us the fruit of His death upon the Cross and so the branches are entwined around it:  the dead wood of the cross is now the Tree of Life in the paradise of His saints.

Further,the branches are portrayed growing from His side reminded me of another verse, unique in it’s reportage in John’s Gospel:  “But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.” St. John 19:  34  The Water and the Blood signify the two Sacraments, Baptism and Communion.  The only way we grow from His side  is abiding in Him. The water of Baptism, and His Word in the water, cleanses and washes us to be His own.  We are fed the drink of His holy Blood in His love out-poured and so we grow to love as He first loved us.  It is hard to love as He first loved us.  Without Him, we can do nothing, even love aright.  Unregenerate man, stuck on himself, incurvatus, curved in upon oneself, will only love selfishly.    In the icon, note that it seems as if Jesus is squeezing the grapes over a chalice! The grapes become juice which is then fermented into wine is fermented in the Word to be the blood of Christ.  He draws us forth to be His own, as the steward of the wedding feast in Cana drew forth the water now become wine by His Word  (St. John 2: 1-11)  “…He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” St. John 11:  43  He drew us forth from death to life and will in the resurrection unto eternal life. He alone changes us.   “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” St.John 12: 32  His Church has only one draw: Himself, His Word and Sacraments, for sinners.

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