”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you.
Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Cut the tip off a plant and the side branches become fuller because the source of nourishment spreads to the side branches. One long thin stalk isn’t very attractive, compared to a pruned, full plant reaching in many directions. Each branch can hold some decorations, like a Christmas tree.
The Father’s love went to his son and from him spread in many diverse directions. One vine/person can’t do everything, but the many side branches can do many things.
When I was in Manresa the Trinity was once explained to us as: “Jesus is the kiss of love from the Father and the Spirit is the ‘kissiness’ of the kiss.” In my mind that kiss of love keeps that main vine growing to kiss into existence many branches.
—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).
Kind and loving God, continue to prune us on a regular basis. It is easy enough for a “weed” to come into the mix; it is easy enough to forget to get fed; it is easy enough to neglect staying warm. All this because “I am too busy to stop, one more task on the ‘ToDo’ list.”
It is comforting to know we have one Master Gardener who never forgets.