Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Reflection: John 15:1-8-11

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter - John 15:1-8-11

Today we hear the familiar passage of the vine and the branches. Jesus tells us that He is the true vine and God, His Father, is the vine grower. Jesus says that God cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit. As for the branches that are bearing fruit, God prunes them so they will produce even more fruit.

Being pruned is not a comfortable process for human beings; however, we all have been pruned at times in our lives. It may have been through a difficult time in your family, a serious illness or the loss of a job, financial problems or the loss of status. Pruning in and of itself is painful and difficult. In the process of being pruned, we may lose parts of ourselves that we don’t want to let go of. Yet the purpose of pruning is to enable new life to grow. We all know this is true. However, we most often do not like the pain or loss that is an intrinsic part of the process of being pruned.

Take a moment and remember a time in your life when you experienced being pruned. It may have been the loss of a job, an illness in your family, the loss of someone you loved, either to death or divorce or separation, or the loss of esteem. How have you been pruned? Take a moment and remember that time.

How did this experience of being pruned affect you? Did it make you examine your life, your faith, your trust in others, or perhaps even your trust in God? How did you react to the pruning: with trust, anger, disillusionment, or hope? Did you remain close to God during this time or did you distance yourself from God? Did you blame God for allowing this to happen to you?

Pruning can be extremely painful. However, do we trust that new life and growth will emerge with time? God does not deliberately prune us. Life prunes us. We have a choice: we can blame God and distance ourselves from God or we can strive to trust that God is with us. However, this is not easy when life is “hell.” However, if we do not stay connected to God or Jesus, we truly will be lost!

As always, we have a choice: to trust that God is with us and believe that in time, there will be “good” that will emerge from this pruning. Are we willing to trust God? Today may we pray for one another to trust and believe that God is at work in us, even if we don’t feel it or see any of its fruits. Wondrous gifts can come from the most horrible times in our lives if we are open to receiving them!

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