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The True Vine

Dear Cathedral Family,

Easter is so much associated with looking forward to new life that the necessary component of looking back is often neglected. But think about how looking back is such an important part of forward-looking threshold moments in life. At graduations and marriages, photo montages document the lives of participants from infancy through all the stages of development. And as we watch the years unfurl, we search the images for signs of who these younger ones have become—even as we concentrate our prayers on who they will be.

The same is true at funerals, when images of the loved one fill us with memories of joy in a life well lived and thanksgivings for what God shared with the world in that life. And as we watch these past scenes, we search for signs of who these loved ones are now, living eternally in their life in God.

The fifth through the seventh Sundays of Easter in our lectionary are always from Jesus’ “Farewell Discourse” in John’s gospel, chapters 13-17. Now we circle back to the last night Jesus spent with his disciples. We listen to his words, and we hear the promises he made and see the images he gave as ways to maintain connection with him. We look back in order to look forward, finding in his words the keys to the new life he has opened for us.

This Sunday Jesus presents himself as the true vine of his Father the vine grower and us as the branches now bearing fruit in the world.

Looking back at the images of your life, where can you see the beginnings of things only now truly visible? Who have been the people who nurtured and tended you so that you could grow into the person you have become? And how are you becoming someone who nurtures and tends others, helping them to grow and “bear fruit”? Christ is alive in all of these people—and in you!



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