In today’s Gospel reading from John 15:1-8, we hear one of my favorite Gospel readings. We learn how Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. God the Father is the vinedresser, who cares for the vine and its branches. What beautiful imagery of a life-giving force! Yet, even vine branches require pruning and trimming to promote further growth. When we hear about the pruning of the vine in this Gospel passage, take note that we are the ones of whom Jesus references! As God prunes His vine branches, He removes those aspects of our lives that hinder further growth.
Pruning for Future Growth
For me, God prunes my prideful ways, so that I may have a humbler heart. He clips off my fears, so that I may grow in trust of His providential blessings. He trims my earthly thoughts of human limitations, so that I may grow more knowledgeable of God’s thoughts and God’s ways of doing things.
I can see that God’s work on me is bearing much fruit. I opened my heart to Him, several years ago, asking for His assistance at removing pride from my life. God responded with the big pruning shears! I asked for help in trusting in His Divine Providence more, and he took some scissors and clipped off my fears and doubts. Then, I asked Him to awaken my mind to know Him better. He “fertilized” me by showing me that He doesn’t look at the world and address it like I would with my analytical brain. Instead, He looks at each of us to see how much we love one another.
The more we love, and treat others with respect, the happier He is with each one of us. If you read a few lines past today’s Gospel reading, you would read “Love one another, as I loved you” (John 15: 12). Hmm… that fertilizer is working!
Are You Ready for Pruning?
If you have an open heart, and a willingness to be pruned, you will see the fruits of the Vinedresser’s work in your life as well. What vices need to be pruned? Or, what fears and doubts need to be cut from your life? Is it time to fertilize you, so that you may bear much fruit?
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