The Gospel According to John 15:1-8
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.”
Reflection: St. John has a brilliant way a taking Jesus’ words and making them very simple to understand and always to the point. In that time of world there were not many occupations, the majority were either farmers or fishermen. So, it makes sense that he would use these types of analogies to explain Jesus’ words.
I have worked with many knowledgeable people in the business of knowing how to successfully grow and maintain different varieties of plants. Like us humans, plants need plenty of water, food, sunlight, and care. One of the hardest things to teach is that for a fruit bearing plant to continue to grow and produce hardy crops is that it must be pruned on a regular basis. Pruning a plant causes it to “want” to grow to survive, it is an instinct that God put in every plant when He created them in the beginning. In nature, that is untouched by man, trees naturally shed branches that are weak or dying which allows them to continually grow.
Jesus is the strong plant that helps us through the food of the Eucharist and the words of the Father to help us to grow and mature. He gives us the light which helps us to produce healthy and strong branches. God wants us to survive so He gives us these simple ‘Laws of Nature’ to help us survive. It is our responsibility, as stewards of the earth, to continue to make sure that we take care of our environment so that all life on our fragile planet continues to grow and bear fruit.
It is also our responsibility that we help as many of our brothers and sisters to also be fed by the words of the Gospels and the light of our Savior so that they too will grow and bear fruit.
Action of the Day: Our actions are meant to bring the light and the life of Jesus to the world and His mission to the world. We all have gifts given to us by the Holy Spirit. What is your gift of fruit that you bring to the world? And how will you use it to make the world a better place?