May 6, 2012:5th Sunday of Easter
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.
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)
Do you know what “prune” means? One meaning of prune is that it is a fruit, which is a dried plum. But here prune means something very different. Here it is a verb that means to cut off the useless part of something, usually a plant. Jesus uses the word to talk about the way God helps us to cut away, to “prune” the things in us that are not good…maybe our tendency to get angry, or to tell little (or even big) lies. This gospel tells us that God is like the vine and we are like the branches on the vine. The branches bear the fruit, but they can only bear good fruit if they are connected to the vine–to God whose love flows through the vine and into us.
Find a way today to talk to God about all of this. See God as a vine, and see yourself as a piece of fruit on that vine. Fruit is sweet and that sweetness comes from the juicy love in that vine that flows into the fruit–into you. Your connection to God is very important–it is where the love in you comes from–your love of your parents, of your siblings, of your friends. Taste the sweetness of that love, and promise God always to thank him for this gift of love that flows in your veins.