Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
John 15:1-8 (NAB)
Dear Father Jesus gave us a visual image of pruning the dead branches as an example of how you constantly prune us. When we live by your Word we notice in our lives the truth of this example. How often in my own life I have noticed your hand pruning out the areas that are not productive to your will. Just as Jesus gave us this example, we too find in our lives many examples of this reading. When we sin and don't reconcile we find our lives like the dead branches. Don't we feel at times as if we need to go to confession to seek absolution from our sins. It's part of the pruning process of clearing away the dead parts of us that hinder growth. It is essential to our growth as part of the vine to prune our behaviors, morals and yes even our faith. In that we too can be dead and need to prune it to restore the luster of faith in our hearts blocked by overgrowing vines and sins that we fail to let go of. Dear Father when we pay attention to your Word we will find how much your hand has been shaping us and come to see the truth of your love. And soon we will discover new growth bear fruit in our lives.