The Gospel According to John 15:1-8
“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: The first thought I had when I read this passage was about a song by Linda Ronstadt titled ‘Love is a Rose’. This is the main verse; Love is a rose, but you better not pick it, only grows when it’s on the vine, handful of thorns and you’ll know you’ve missed it, lose your love when you say the word mine. She is talking about relationships between a man and a woman, and how sometimes, that love, is lost when they become separated or possessive from and of each other. Anyone who has ever loved and lost knows how painful this is, as sharp as a thorn from that same beautiful flower.
When we lose touch with God, we too become separated and wither from our relationship with Him. God never does and will always continue to love us, unconditionally, as He waits for us to return back to Him. If we continue to cultivate our relationship with Him, we will have the ability to grow and bloom wherever we are planted.
Pruning a plant is a way to shed those flowers that have withered away and are robbing water from new flowers and those still in bloom, of this much needed nourishment. Shedding our sins through regular reconciliation frees us from those burdens, that are robbing our souls, from all the beautiful blooms of love we can share with God and others.
Action of the Day: Today, let’s refocus ourselves on the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. Our season of Easter is slowly coming to its conclusion, keep the growth of our love for God and our brothers and sisters, especially those unfortunate, cultivated to produce beautiful roses.