A reading from the gospel according to John 15:1-8:
1 Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
2 He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
3 You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
8 By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
Points for reflection:
1. It is so much easier to go our own way and to do things by ourselves. No wonder, Frank Sinatra’s My Way is one of the most popular classic songs in the world. In fact, many people think their achievements are their own. Yet the gospel reading above is very clear. Without Christ, we are nothing. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. We cannot bear fruit on our own. Without the love, grace and power of Jesus, we will go astray. It is therefore necessary to abide in Him so that we can truly become the branches who bear fruit for the glory of God.
2. Pruning hurts. That is the truth. If we meditate on our sufferings and offer them to Jesus, we can be mortified and become more fruitful. Thus we do not fear suffering but we can still have joy and peace of mind no matter what our situation is. That is why when the next hurt comes, we take comfort in knowing that God is in control, perhaps we are just being pruned so we can bear more fruits.
3. We thank Jesus for His assurance of answered prayers if we remain in Him and His words remain in us. We offer Him our total being and allow Him to lord over us so that whatever hindrances in the fulfillment of our dreams in life may be taken away.
4. Bearing fruit must be our goal because it gives glory to God. We may have been a Christian for a long time but only in name. It is best to ask ourselves the question of whether or not we are bearing fruit.