Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
If Jesus had known any ancient Greek logic, he would have been a big fan of the law of the excluded middle. Something must either be or not be. There’s no middle ground. For example: either you are an only child or you are not an only child. There is no middle position between having no siblings and having siblings. Christian discipleship, according to Jesus, is similar: either you are his disciple or you are not. This is what is expressed in the imagery of the vine and branches. Jesus is the true vine, and his disciples are the branches. The branches either remain on the vine and bear fruit, or they separate from the vine and perish. There is no middle position. Either the branch is attached or it isn’t. If we wish to do good with our lives, we must remain attached to Christ, because no branch can bear good fruit unless it is attached to the vine.
Therefore, we must direct our energies to remaining in Christ, especially by going to Church on Sundays, by receiving the sacraments and by frequent prayer. If we do this, good works will follow, like good fruit on the vine. But if some people should leave Christ, separating themselves from him, Jesus himself says that they “will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.” Between these two positions, ultimately, there is no middle ground.