Bible Text: “Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit” John 15. 1-8
The parable of the vine and the branches gives us the concrete picture of the intimate relationship between Jesus and His followers. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Like the branches to the vine, we owed our existence and our fruitfulness from the Lord. Jesus also made mention about the importance of pruning. It is so essential in the growth of the branches because it trimmed down the dead overgrown branches so that by doing so new twigs can start growing. Pruning makes the branches produce more new life which will eventually give abundant fruits in due season.
It is likewise true to our Christian life. Once we are connected to Jesus, things that can destroy our spiritual life are cut down. Once we have decided to follow Jesus, we have to avoid situations that can lead us to occasions of sin. Preoccupations in life can be excuses not to persistent in prayer. Self centeredness can be an occasion not to be generous. Peer gathering can be an occasion for gossiping. There are still a lot more situations. We have to prune ourselves from these. This is something difficult because we are being taken away from our comfort zone. We call this pruning as mortification. We put death to our flesh to train our souls to virtuous and holy living. This is painful but after sometime of regularly practicing it, new life starts to grow in us. Prayer became delightful in life. Giving is more important than possessing, appreciating people rather than criticizing becomes very spontaneous. Life with and in Jesus requires a lot of discipline but once we know the purpose of pruning life is so peaceful and joyful. When we do not understand that painful process is the way to fruitfulness, we will certainly detach ourselves from Jesus who is the source of life.
Now that we are celebrating the feast of our Lady of Fatima, let us beg the Lord to grant us perseverance like Mary. When she had given her Fiat to the Lord, she gave everything about her life to the Lord. It is not a smooth sailing voyage but she found inner peace joy and her life fruitful for us and for the kingdom of God. Intimacy is still grace from the Lord. During the times that we cut ourselves from the Lord let us pray...
O, My Jesus, forgive our sins, save us from the fires of hell and bring us to everlasting life.