In today’s Gospel (John 15:1-8), Jesus tells his disciples that he is the vine and we are the branches. Unless we are united with him, we will not bear fruit.
Almost twenty years ago I read this passage on Holy Thursday evening, sitting in front of the Eucharist after the evening Mass.
I had a serious decision to make. My father was in the hospital after a serious heart attack and would soon be released.
What was I to do? Put him in a nearby nursing home or care for him in the apartment where he was living?
As I prayed, I realized that I was being called to let myself be pruned, to let God strip me of the dead branches and dried out flowers of my life.
I decided that after a short stay in a nursing home, Dad would be back in his apartment.
There were several years of caring for Dad, first in his apartment and then in the house I bought.
They were years of pruning, but they were years that I will never regret.
Where do I now need pruning? What dry branches and dead flowers need to be stripped away? And how will I let God do this?
In some way, my decision to move out to the countryside will stretch me. I will be living in a village, very close to people. I imagine that I may have people dropping by at unexpected times, “disturbing” my quiet. I already have people asking me to do things in the village.
I pray that I may let God prune me so that I may be available for God’s people here.