John' Gospel is wholly given over to the thought of remaining with God.

Sunday, 5/3/15

Jesus said, “Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you, unless you remaining me.”

You might not notice this, but in today’s short Gospel reading the word “remain” appears eight times. In fact, the whole of John’s Gospel is given over to the thought of remaining with God. Someone once counted the over a hundred times that St. John used the words remain, stay, and abide.

As John, the Beloved Apostle, saw it, God’s grace is not just the help he gives us in our hours of need. Rather, it’s our permanently living in him, and he living in us.

In the “Hi and Lois” comic strip yesterday the man, Hi, fell asleep on the couch with his tiny child cuddled on his stomach. And the child, not yet able to speak, said to herself, “Daddy fell asleep, and I’m trapped here. Oh well, there’s no better place to be trapped.”  We can be like that too, reclining on the Father, ever so secure!

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.           

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

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