Jn 15: 1-8

”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Grateful for the pruning

Every spring, a vine grower cuts away dead branches.  She also prunes the good branches that have borne lots of fruit, so that they will produce even more fruit in the future.

The fruit of our lives includes things like love, generosity, forgiveness, gratitude, and service.  If we stay connected to Jesus, our branches can be lush and green and bear lots of fruit.

Even so, we inevitably encounter difficulties, frustrations, and failures.  Our branches get cut back and they do not produce much fruit for a while.  The pruning process helps us better understand who we are and what we most desire.  The failures and frustrations make us stronger and more resilient.

After a time, with God’s grace, those branches grow back and produce even more fruit than before.  May we be patient during the pruning and grateful when the fruit returns.

—Fr. Dan Daly, SJ, is the treasurer of the USA Central and Southern Province of Jesuits and creator of the YouTube channel Bible Character Sampler. 

 

Prayer

Jesus, you are the vine, and we are the branches.  Please give us patience and hope when our branches are pruned by difficulties, frustrations, and failures.  Thank you for the sunny summer days when our branches have borne fruit. Amen.

—Fr. Dan Daly, SJ