Commentary on the Gospel of
A few years ago, I took several lessons on flower arranging at the local community college here. I loved it! Though these flowers had been severed from their source of life, water substituted for a while. But I knew that there would come an end to what we called “shelf life.” I also learned that if by some oversight of mine, one stem was cut short and therefore sooner without water, it would soon shrivel and fade. That was never a pretty sight.
Today’s Gospel from John, the story of the Vine and the Branches, is a familiar one, yet lends itself to reflection each time it is presented.
Though the analogy of the flowers does not apply in all ways, perhaps a few thoughts will spur some in you and minister to your prayer.
Once we have determined the sources of grace in our lives, we need to pay attention to and nurture them. For example, a few moments each day set aside to intentionally connect with God, recalling the many graces of the day. Or prayerful reception of the Eucharist. Or spending some time in nature. With flowers, a favorite activity of mine. Or recalling the true source of our own “glory,” “honor” or “riches.”
Asking what in my life is bearing fruit; what is not; and seeking Jesus’ help in the necessary pruning or application of water and nutrients.
Perhaps some time intentionally considering these matters will attune us to the final challenge of this Gospel passage: “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”