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 every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” (Jn 15:1-2)
I remember my days growing up. The summers were spent learning gardening from my dad. He was pretty serious about that hobby. His garden was always quite large. Additionally, he had several grape vines in the yard at one time along with some nut trees.
He taught us all about pruning. He would prune the living daylights out of some of the vines, plants, shrubs, and trees.
I was always convinced that they would never grow again. But the next season, they were bigger, better, and sassier than ever.
Jesus used a pruning metaphor in today’s Gospel when He talked about being the true vine and we being the branches. He let us know that we are rooted in Him, that we derive all of our nourishment from Him, that, without Him, we will wither and die. He also let us know that dead branches were cut off to make room for new growth.
It would be awfully dangerous to die on the vine because the consequences were to be cut off and burned. I am sure we all know what that metaphor is all about!
What, in our personal lives, can cause us to wither on the vine and die? Are we spending enough time in prayer? Do we do good works? Are we faithful stewards of what God has entrusted to us?
FAITH ACTION: Figure out what hinders your growth and make a plan to change so that you may produce fruit.