At the fitness studio in Wilmette, we look out at the corner of 4th and Linden. Trees line the sidewalk and there’s a large area — almost like a planter — at the corner next to the stop sign.
About a month ago, one of my clients and I watched as the village maintenance guys gave the rose bushes in this planter a serious haircut. Trimmed way back! Looked like they left a bunch of sticks that we would look at all summer long.
Friday, same client and I marveled at the new growth on the bushes. They look great!
Kathy has a raspberry bush planted at the front of the house. It’s her pride and joy. Like the village maintenance guys, she trimmed the heck out of the plant.
Yesterday, we admired her handiwork. The raspberry bush is in bloom.
So, yesterday’s meditation considered how to know truth.
Remain in God’s word.
In today’s Second Reading (First Letter of John 3:18-24), the beloved disciple tells us
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us. – 1 John 3:24
The Alleluia verse says
Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord. Whoever remains in me will bear much fruit. – Gospel of John 15:4a, 5b
And Jesus says in today’s Gospel
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” – John 15:1-8
Getting pruned sucks. (Can I say that in a meditation?)
But it’s necessary.
We get so wrapped up in this life. In minor disappointments. In personal grief. Relationship struggles and break ups.
And then the pruning begins.
And it hurts.
But it’s necessary.
God has a plan for each of us. How often do we resist His plan for our life?
When the pruning starts, remember that we can’t bear fruit without it.
Thanks for taking some of your precious time today to read my thoughts. My intention, beginning Friday, April 17, 2015, is to post a brief, daily meditation based on the readings from the day’s Catholic liturgy. I would appreciate your help and encouragement. This is something I’ve been called to do for some time. I’m finally embracing it. Father, forgive me for procrastinating.