This week the weather has been nice enough to get out into the garden. We have a laurel hedge that is looking pretty weather-beaten and from googling the internet I think the laurels have a fungus. We need to prune the dead and/or spotted leaves and expose the shrubs to the light. It is a tedious job but well worth it.
I was thinking of all this as I prayed with the Gospeltoday (Jn 15:1-8). In it Jesus tells us that He is the vine and God the Father is the vine grower. Because of our Baptism we are connected to the Lord – we are the branches. In order for us to bear good fruit sometimes we need to be pruned, we need to get rid of our sin. When we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive Jesus in the Eucharist, God’s life flows into us and through us because then our branch is spiritually healthy.
What touched me most about the Gospel is that Jesus tells us that just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can we bear good fruit unless we remain in Him. As I read the Gospel I had this thought: sometimes I don’t feel as if I am bearing good fruit. Sometimes I feel like the laurel, not looking very good (mostly to myself). But, I know I am remaining in the Lord; I know that I am attached to the Vine so how can I not bear good fruit?! Sometimes as women we have a poor self image. How can we not be beautiful if we stay connected to the Vine – to the Lord - to His love? So, if you are feeling a little down about yourself today, check to see if you are connected to Jesus. Is His life - His love- flowing into you? If not, perhaps you could try a little spiritual gardening.