Without the root, there is no vine, and without the vine, there are no branches. As Jesus often says, “The Father and I are one.” Jesus throughout his ministry often makes it clear that it is the Father that provides the grace. So, too, with us, without grace, without the nutrients that come from the root, we will find no life.

How do we remain alive on that vine?  I would suggest it is through the Word we hear in our prayer. We are nourished with a Word of Encouragement; with a Word of Strength; with a Word of Forgiveness; with a Word of Courage; with a Word of Perseverance; or with a Word of Healing.

What Word have you heard today that has kept you alive, connected to the vine?

—Fr. Michael Bayard, S.J. serves as Provincial Assistant for parishes and spiritual ministries of the Oregon and California Jesuit provinces.