During my childhood days, my aunts and uncles living abroad used to send us handwritten letters, postcards, and photos of them with notes at the back. Eventually, these letters were replaced by videotapes, and soon enough, we were able to talk to them real-time through the telephone with the use of prepaid cards. Slowly, Yahoo Messenger paved the way for video calls and this eventually led to the advent of modern real-time video communication apps such as Skype and Viber.
The way I look at it, the primary motivation behind the rapid development of communication technologies is our strong need to be connected. Indeed, nowadays we are able to effortlessly contact our family members through various platforms that suit our tastes. We always desire to connect. We always wanted to be connected.
Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus is the “vine” and we are the “branches.” As such, we must always be connected to him so that we may be able to get the needed nourishment for us to grow and bear much fruit. Further, this invites us to reflect on two things: first, we must be more discerning so that we would be able to know if the vine which we are connecting ourselves to is the true vine – that is Christ; and second, connecting with God is free and does not require any gadget or app for us to contact him directly. If this is the case, what then prevents us from doing so?
By: Sem. John Paul T. Toting
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.”