This Sunday’s Gospel (John) is the back half of last Sunday’s Gospel. Last Sunday, Jesus explained the closeness that he wants to have with each of us in terms of vines and branches. And that Gospel ends with Jesus talking about bearing fruit and being disciples.
It’s an image that some people misunderstand. Sometimes people get the idea that they have to “earn it.” That there’s something they have to do or not do, and then Jesus will love them.
Which really isn’t love at all.
And that’s not how Jesus works.
In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells us how he works. And the way that he says it is so gentle, it’s easy to miss that it’s also a rebuke of any idea of “earning it.” This is anything but conditional love.
More on this tomorrow.