Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Vine and the Branches . . .

Today's gospel reading has weighty civilizational implications:
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 everyone 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.
"Without me you can do nothing." The thinly disguised nihilism that passes for secular sophistication today is precisely that nothingness, awaiting the inadvertent spark or the terrorist's torch. The greater the culture's historical dependency on Christianity, the greater the price for abandoning it. It will go easier for Sodom and Gomorrah than for a formerly Christianized civilization that has turned itself into an effete and sanctimonious facsimile of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The pruning by Truth (incarnate) of the rank growth of self-will and self-delusion is infinitely preferable to the only alternative to it: the conflagration that the children of the self-deluded will otherwise undergo. But nothing is more antithetical to the spirit of the age than the very idea of pruning.

1 comment:

matt tavares said...

"You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you."

That certainly sums up how powerful simply hearing the Gospel message is. I find it interesting how all of us refuse to be pruned by neglecting to hear it at times.

As for the secular crowd, and those of us who are secular at heart at times, it seems that we don't have a choice to be pruned upon hearing it. Maybe that's why the secular avoid hearing it, because it's impossible not to change as a result of it. It seems to me that the the willingly secular crowd will use one bad thing in the old testament or one bad thing the church did as a free pass to avoid hearing the Gospel. However, I can't think of one secular argument against the Gospel alone that I've heard in my.

On a more positive note, this inspires a personal kick in the butt to hear the word more.