'You did not choose me but I chose you'
9 "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
10 "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
11 "I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.
14 "You are my friends if you do what I command you.
15 "I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.
16 "You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.
17 "I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another."
The paradigm of nature gives us a pretty good clue to the way in which our lives are also to be lived. At this time of the year we visit our gardens to see, for instance, if our rose bushes are sending up green stems with little red spots on them, which is where the new branches will be born.
When we hear Jesus saying: "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit," we know beyond a shadow of a doubt what it is that we are called to be and to do. We must be true as children of God.
Wouldn't we be surprised if we were to squeeze an orange and cod liver oil would gush forth?
And so with us as children of God: we are to bear the fruits of peace, joy and love to live out our calling as followers of the Christ.
Keep us honest, O God, with who we have been chosen to be and bear the kind of fruit Jesus has called us to bear in his spirit and after his example. Amen.