5th Sunday of Easter Year B - 3/5/2015 - Gospel: Jn 15, 1-8
Spiritual dryness
Spiritual dryness happens when a Christian makes a claim that 'I am spiritual but not religious'. This kind of spirituality comes not from Jesus.

Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away-
he withers v.15,6

 A human being needs love and be loved. There are two kinds of love: the love from above and a love from below. The love from above comes from Jesus and the love from below comes from the world. Whoever is endowed with the love from above will see things with the eyes of God and think and act under the guidance of God's Spirit. Whoever makes home with the love from below will see things as the world sees and act in the worldly manner.  The love from above is unconditional and unlimited while the love from below is conditional and limited.  Both kinds of love require constant trimming. Pruning is a way of renewal and freshness to bear more fruit. Having no fruit is a state of barrenness. No fruit means there is no next life. For Christians whatever method of pruned God uses we can be assured that God cares about us and wants us to bear fruit in plenty. The trimming for the world is to gain more profit at the end of a financial year. If profit was made in plenty you would enjoy a portion of it by means of promotion with extra benefits, otherwise retrenchment and redundancy are applied for renewal and refreshment for the profit improvement.

A vine provides life for branches and the branches must abide in the vine to live and to bear fruit. In today Gospel Christ depicts himself as a vine and God is the vinedresser and we are the branches. The solidarity happens when the vinedresser cares for the Son and the Son in turn cares for those who joined Him in faith. God's care and love is lacking when the relationship between God and us is blocked. Connectedness of the vine and the branches is a symbol of vital belonging. Branches belong to the vine to have life and bear fruit.

In a natural world branches are cut from a vine and then we replant them elsewhere and it is a way of regeneration. The quality of soil and water and climate and fertilizer would affect the quality of the grapes.  A vine that is cut off from the original vine will be a new vine. A new vine received support from the original vine but now it receives support from somewhere else. In the case of Christians when we choose to cut off from Jesus we don't die but our love for Jesus died. We died spiritually, not physically and this is the state of spiritual dryness. If we remain in Jesus we have problems and struggles like everybody else but they are not meant to trouble us. In a positive outlook they are opportunities for us to bear more fruits.