Gardening is an activity that teaches me patience, helping me to realize that I am ultimately not in charge, as I wait for spring to arrive and the garden to begin its new growth. Nature has its own pace. Gardening also teaches me that what might appear to be hurting a plant, namely pruning, is actually beneficial to the plant’s productivity.
Jesus recounts the parable of the vine and the branches as a way of telling his disciples that they must with some discipline prune away from their life anything that prevents them from remaining united with him and living in his spirit. (Jn 15:1-8)
When we accept God’s word into our life, turning away from whatever blocks that word, whether it’s certain relationships or activities, ways of interacting with people, attitudes we have, feelings of superiority or inadequacy, we can begin to bear fruit for God’s reign of peace and justice.
Most encouraging is the realization that “You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.” (Jn15:3) Once a plant has been pruned, it is primed to grow to its best potential. When we receive God’s word, we are primed to do likewise—a branch connected to the living vine.
“By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”(Jn15:8)