Gospel: Jn 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples: ”I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower. If any of my branches doesn‘t bear fruit, he breaks it off; and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, that it may bear even more fruit.
”You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you. Live in me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself, but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you, if you don‘t remain in me.
”I am the vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not remain in me is thrown away, as they do with branches, and they wither. Then they are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned.
”If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask whatever you want, and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit: it is then that you become my disciples.”
Pruning is a good agricultural practice. You take something that is not helpful from a plant in order for it to direct its vigor on those that can give better returns. This means that not all growth facilitates fruitfulness. It may just be a distraction that has no value in the end. It just takes precious resources without giving a favorable return. We too are exhorted to practice ”pruning” in our daily life. For Jesus Christ images us as His branches. He is the source of our fecundity. Grafted in Him, we cannot help but lead fruitful lives.
But in time, we sometimes become complacent. The God given sustenance for a fruitful life is not used for its purpose. We become a lifeless, useless appendage of the vine who is Jesus Himself. This is where we become candidates for pruning. We feel the pain, but this is a transformative pain. It is necessary to jumpstart our being productive. As long as we remain with Jesus, our fruitfulness is guaranteed.