Mothers’ Union Devotion – Sunday 2nd May 2021, the Fifth Sunday of Easter
We once stayed in Santillana del Mar a village in Northern Spain, which is associated with on old saying – the Town of Three Lies. The lies being it is named after a saint; it is flat, and it is by the sea. Slightly oblivious to this, we set off one morning to walk to the sea. It was an exceptionally long, very hilly and extremely hot walk but the view of the Atlantic Ocean was spectacular when we eventually arrived. One of the most memorable things from the walk was the gate post of an ancient villa. Cemented into the post was a crucifix. I wondered whether it was put there for decoration, a blessing or a permanent declaration of faith? Then I noticed that tied to the cross just below Jesus’ feet, was a length of cheap wire. As if the cross was no longer being treated with respect. Tracing the wire along its route, however, revealed something quite profound. The wire was holding up a vine and I was reminded of the saying of Jesus in John’s Gospel – “I am the true vine (John 15. 1).”
Jesus continues (v. 5) “I am the vine; you are the branches”. The branches on a vine need to be supported in order to bear fruit. In this place, with the wire tied to the cross of Jesus, we see that Jesus is not only the root of the vine but its support as well. Jesus is always there, regardless of how distant we feel from our roots – our beginnings, or indeed our route, our expected or planned paths.
The wire that hung from the cross, from Jesus, was criss-crossed with many wires forming a mesh. A network of support so that each branch was connected to the root and to the cross of Jesus. We too need that continuous support in our lives. The everyday presence of Jesus to hold us up, so we can benefit from the good things in life and so that we can bear much good fruit in our lives, the lives of our families and in the lives of our community. Just as the Jesus on the cross held up the vine in that ancient part of the Spanish countryside so we too are always held up when we abide in Jesus, the true vine, in whom we are rooted, supported and we pray abundantly fruitful.
With all my love and prayers as you continue to bear fruit for our Living Lord.