During this Holy Week and Easter Season, I have often said that the key message of the Easter Season is that “love lives.” Of course I am referring to the fact that Jesus, who is the perfect personification of the love of God the Father, rose from the dead on Easter Sunday and lives eternally. But Jesus is not only the embodiment of love. He is the embodiment of love in action. Jesus is love in action. He is perpetually acting in a loving way. He loves everyone exactly as they are, whether, it is the woman caught in adultery, the rich young man, Nicodemus, the man born blind, the ten lepers, etc. He accepts everyone, He accepts, us exactly as He finds us. But He does not stop there; love does not stop there. He loves us as we are but then He calls us forth just as He called Lazarus forth from the tomb. He forgave the adulterous woman but then commanded her to sin no more. He looked at the rich young man with love but then challenged him to give his wealth to the poor. Love is accepting; but because love is love it is not satisfied with leaving us stagnant. Jesus loves us where we are and because He does He calls us, He challenges us to change, not to remain the same. Jesus calls to “Remain in His love,” and we cannot do this if we remain the same, we have to move, we have to grow and change if we are going to follow Him. That is what the image of the vine and the branches is all about. He is the vine, we are the branches. Our challenge is to remain with Him, to stay connected with Him so that we might bear much fruit. This means that we have to change, that we have to be pruned so that we might become more like Him. If we do not change and grow with Him we will wither away. Love lives. Love accepts. Love challenges.