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A call to communion with true wine to bear abundant fruit

May 10, Wednesday of the 5th Week of Easter
Memorial of John of Avila, Priest and Doctor of the Church

The Church is the people of God and comprises all kinds of believers from all walks of life. Believers’ primary duty is to abide in God and bear fruits. Taking in Jesus is a task and a privilege. To stay in Jesus means to remain in Jesus. It requires specific discipline and the observation of numerous rules and regulations. Salvation is the ultimate goal of every believer. One needs faith in Jesus to be saved. What should the believers do when people of different customs and beliefs become members of the Church? Dialogue with one another or conversation is as meaningful as openness to the Holy Spirit, who illuminates, leads, and guides the members of the Church.

The First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles narrates an essential event in the early Church in which the believers in Jesus Christ had differences of opinion. The prominent bone of contention here is circumcision. Specific individuals who came to Antioch from Judea taught that the Gentile believers must be circumcised as per the custom of Moses to be saved. In simple language, it means that the Gentiles will first become Jews and then the followers of Jesus. This didn’t go well with Paul and Barnabas. Rightly so! There were many dissensions and debates. The community at Antioch appointed Paul and Barnabas to take up the matter with the apostles in Jerusalem. The gentile conversion brought joy to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, but some believers of Pharisaic origin insisted on circumcision and observing the Mosaic Law. This private encounter eventually led to the First Jerusalem Council, the mother of all the Councils in the Church, for broader deliberations and to create an environment to listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.

In the Gospel reading from St. John, Jesus comes up with the celebrated metaphor of wine and branches. Unlike the Old Testament passages, which portray the people of Israel as the vine God Himself planted (cf. Ps 80:8; Isa 5:2; Jer 2:21; Ezek 19:10), Jesus in John 15:1 projects himself as the true vine and God the Father as the vine grower. The branches must remain united with the trunk and the main stem to receive the life-giving sap and grow and bear fruit. It is important to note that every component must stay united with other branches.

It is as important as staying connected with the trunk. When Jesus calls himself the true vine, we can expect the existence of some false vines, which are abundant in the world. Those not united with Jesus risk rejection (being cut down and thrown into the fire). Those who are in communion with Jesus will receive whatever they wish. The ultimate goal of life in Christ is to bear fruit, in fact, abundant fruit.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.