Being pruned

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.




2 responses to “Being pruned

  1. I really don’t have apprehension about the move. I see the pruning as a good thing – something that will help me grow in faith, something that will, I pray, bring me more joy.
    Pruning is good – to bring more flowers and more fruit!

  2. It is obvious, John, that you have much apprehension about your impending move to a new location and any needed adjustments in your living conditions. This is certainly understandable. So don’t beat yourself up about it or any misgivings that you may have.

    I, too, dread any changes in my 81-year old life. And yet, I truly believe that my faith and trust in the Lord’s care for me will carry me through. It always has. I didn’t realize it at the time (perhaps like your experience with your father’s illness and aftercare) but it became clear to me in retrospect.

    The Lord has need for your presence and your continuing ministry to His people where you are going. You may find unexpected joy in your new setting. No one can surprise us like the Lord does.

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