Jesus, help me remember I need you to get through life as much as I need food! Amen.

“I am the vine, and my Father is the vine grower,” said Jesus. “Just like a branch can’t give fruit unless it’s attached to the vine, you can’t do anything without me. Anyone who doesn’t stay close to me will wither away like a dead branch. But if you stick with me, you’ll be my follower and give fruit.”

Some kids will eat anything. Some are picky. Some have food allergies. Some are vegetarian or vegan. Some are Catholic and don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent, or don’t eat pork because they’re Jewish and keep kosher, or don’t eat during the day in the month of Ramadan because they’re Muslim. Some kids even eat through a tube because they have trouble swallowing.

The bottom line, though, is that everyone eats something. People can’t survive without food, the fuel that keeps us going.

This week’s Gospel (John 15:1-8) talks about what we need to survive. Jesus uses a similar example: He says that, if you cut a branch off a grapevine, the branch will die. It’s disconnected from its source of food, from the roots that get water and nutrients through the soil.

Plants and people all need to stay connected to nourishment — and not just one kind of nourishment. Plants need nutrients, but they also need sunlight; we need food and water, but we also need God.

Staying close to God helps us get through hard times. It lets us see when other people are hurting, so we can help them. Jesus said that, without Him, we might wither away. He taught about good ways to live — praying, being kind, being honest, feeling grateful for what we have, sharing with others and more — and He reminded us that, if we do those things, we’ll “give fruit.” We’ll pass on happiness to the people around us.

Food keeps us going. So does Jesus!