Fr Dominic
Parish Priest

Is there anyone you know who has not got a belly button? Your navel reminds you that you are not a self made person. Your very life was the gift of your mother and father. You were once physically attached to your mother, utterly dependent on her for your blood supply, protection, and nurture. Are we self sufficient after birth, after the umbilical cord is cut? No really. We are all born without teeth, without the ability to walk, or talk, or fend for ourselves.
Jesus made this point in the Gospel today. How can the branches of a vine survive without the roots connecting them to the soil? How can the roots survive without the leaves soaking up the sun? How can the plant survive without the fruit producing seeds for the future of the species? How can the fruit survive without the branches holding them to the plant? In the same way the Christian community is interdependent on each other. Paul used the metaphor of the body with its various organs to illustrate the same truth. Jesus is the presence of life throughout the entire plant. He is the vine itself, of which we are the various parts. We derive our Christian existence from Christ, the Vine: and we sustain our lives through our connections with each other. We cannot survive without each other.
There are some who believe they are self made, self sufficient loners. Even some in the Christian Faith believe they serve God but do not need the Church. Their theme song might be Paul Simon’s “I am a Rock”. I am a rock, I am an island. I need no one, and no one needs me. I am a Rock and a Rock feels no pain. But God did not create humankind as islands. To be healthy we must be in community. As members of our family, our local community, our church, our town, our country, our world we need each other. We need to enhance and enrich our world.