sexta-feira, 13 de março de 2015

DRY TWIGS


I am the vine;
you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you,
you will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5 (read 15:1-8) - NIV

 

Jesus did not know electricity, television, radio, Facebook, CDs, computers, memory chips, cell phones, digital photos, refrigerators, cars, jumbo jets, drones, subways, satellites, "malls", Coca Cola or McDonalds. He never lived in a metropolitan jungle of asphalt, surrounded by skyscrapers with the benefits of urbanization: cement sidewalks, channeled streams, running water, garbage collection, electricity, sewerage, hospitals, schools and air conditioning. He did not know the effects of isolation from nature that modernity produces.

His school was nature. He knew the planting and harvesting cycles. Jesus understood plants and humanity. He made comparisons. The union of the branch with the vine is essential for the maintenance and propagation life. A branch separated from the trunk will dry up, die and become a candidate to be tossed into the fire and burned. The human being is no different. When men and women move away from a caring relationships they lose vitality and “dry up”. They literally burn themselves out. We constantly see this happening before our eyes.

The world is aflame! International conflicts are worsening and military technology is increasingly improved and perfected. Conflicts, wars and terrorism dominate the daily news. American soldiers who go overseas and kill those who are only defending their own country become heroes. Radicalism glorifies suicide killers as martyrs. It becomes glorious to kill and to die in the name of a cause even though the causes are really mere illusions.

On the domestic scene prison populations are growing, police violence against the helpless is on the rise, poverty is increasing and freedoms are being eroded by those who hold power and strive to gain even more. The government’s aim is to protect itself rather than its citizens. Deforestation and pollution continue to destroy thousands of species of living things that contribute to a healthy biodiversity. The globe is warming, and capitalism refuses to recognize what is happening and opposes any kind of regulation that would reduce its profits.

In our consumerist globalized culture, human beings are valued according to what they are able to accumulate in their rush for wealth and power. Adam Phillips, English psychoanalyst, in an interview said: "We work at a speed that prevents reflection on the meaning of our lives. We live in societies where it is more important to be rich than to have close friends, more important to be famous than to love. This is maddening.” It seems that humanity is going crazy and destroying itself! It is becoming a conflagration of dry twigs.

The world is going up in flames and needs the fruit of Jesus' spirituality of love to counter the dryness. Our faith in Jesus is valid only to the extent that we can produce the fruit of solidarity. As branches of the “Jesus vine”, our nature should be to bear fruit, not just leaves.

The hope of the world is in those who are united with the Source of life which produces the concrete results of brotherly and sisterly love which also respects all of creation. This is life that reproduces life.

 

JOHN 15:1-8 – NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)

THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


 

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