Jesus said to his disciples:“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
Though the New American Bible uses the common word “remain,” the New Revised Standard Version uses the word “abide” which suggests a personal communion with our Lord. To abide tells us that we must be deeply rooted, connected, grafted to the source of our existence. But how do we do this? Do we just sit in our room and say, “Jesus, come into my life” and let whatever concepts of Jesus be our defining doctrine? That would be dangerous because that would imply that we are masters of our own understanding and of a 2,000 year old Tradition.
The way in which we stay grafted into his life is through prayer and communion. Where is prayer and communion found? Where it breathes perfectly: His Church and in the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments.
Through such a connection we echo the words of the psalmist, “I will praise you Lord in the assembly of your people” (Psalm 22). We cannot live separated from our Lord because there is no existence apart from him.