Monday, April 30, 2012

Remain in Me

Redbud is one of my favorite trees and one of the earliest blooming spring trees.  Unfortunately it doesn't grow at the altitude at which I live.
In John 15:1-11 Jesus tells us that he is the vine and we are the branches.  I think it is important to note that he doesn't say that he is the trunk and we are the branches.  Jesus is the whole vine and we are part of him.  This is not unlike St. Paul's image of the Body of Jesus with us as members of his Body. We are in him and he in us.
In this brief passage, Jesus uses the verb "remain" ten times.  The Greek verb "meno" is the source of our verb "remain."  It has the meaning  "to stay permanently."  "Abide" and "dwell" are other ways to translate the same verb. 
Jesus says, "Remain in me as I remain in you."  I begin my centering prayer by addressing the Risen Jesus in me and around me, on the surface of my skin and in the deepest part of who I am.  In him I live and move and have my being. Always!  This imagery feels even more intimate to me than the mutual knowing between the Good Shepherd and his sheep.  The sap flows through the trunk and into the branches.  The very life of the Risen Jesus flows through every part of who I am and through every human being.  This shared life lasts for good, forever.

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