“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.” — John 15:5
- Christ reminded us at the Last Supper, when he told his Apostles that he was the vine and they were the branches, that we should always stay united to him.
- His encounter with Mary and Martha in this Sunday’s Gospel teaches us the same lesson, a lesson that Martha really needed to learn.
Martha needed to learn that what we do for Christ has to flow out of what we are for him: true and devoted friends.
It’s easy to overload our agenda with so many activities and commitments (even good and beneficial ones) that we lose sight of our real goal in life: to know, love, and imitate Christ more each day.
- Only that will give real meaning to our lives.
- Only that will enable us to help others find meaning.
- Only that will fill us with the steadily increasing joy we long for.
Jesus isn’t saying that we shouldn’t do things, serve others, work hard, and honor our commitments.
- No, Jesus doesn’t reprimand Martha for her activity.
- He reprimands her for being “anxious and worried” about all those activities.
- She has become so caught up in getting things done, that she has lost sight of why she’s doing them.
- She is like a branch desperately trying to bear fruit by its own power.
The result is predictable – frustration, anger, impatience, losing her temper.
Unless we are plugged into Christ and his grace,
- unless we constantly feed our souls with his words,
- unless everything we do flows out of our friendship with Him – the one thing needed –
- none of our actions, even the good ones, can have lasting value.
And this alone will give lasting peace to our hearts.