« Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. » (John 15: 2)
What does it mean to prune a plant such as a grapevine or fruit tree? In Greek the word is « kathairos » and it means: to purify, to cleanse, to remove impurities, to cut away unnecessary shoots, to cleanse by fire, to free from corrupt desires of sin, of guilt.
Why does the Father, who is the vinedresser, only prune the branches that bear fruit? So that they bear even more fruit. When I was little, my parents took me and my brothers and my sister on vacation, always in the department of Yonne (89) located in the Burgundy region. It is a department where there are a lot of vineyards.
Our friends Marcel and his wife Fréda owned several vineyards in the Chambly region. One day, they explained to us that without pruning, the branches produce only small grapes, useless and without consequence and therefore not beneficial for the production of wine.
What is the role of pruning? This process of carefully trimming the individual branches of the vine allows for a better harvest, as it limits the overgrowth of the branch, with the aim of obtaining larger grapes that contain more juice or wine.
Pruning is practiced after the harvest and generally while the vegetation rests, either at the end of winter, when severe frosts in principle are no longer feared, or at the beginning of spring before the sap rises.
In John 15:2 Jesus, who often uses images of nature to explain the principles of the Kingdom of God, alludes to pruning in the natural realm in order to enable us to better visualize (and therefore better understand) spiritual pruning, its usefulness and its necessity in our lives and in the Church.
The branch is naturally united with the vine of which it is a part, just as we are spiritually united with Christ. Since the branch grows out of the vine, this connection is expected, programmed and natural. The fruit borne by the branch does not depend on its size but on its health, hence the need to stay connected to the source of the sap, which is the vine. As far as we are concerned, the fruit borne in our lives depends on our intimate fellowship and connection with Christ.
ACTION POINT: Allow the Father to prune your heart and your life, even if you consider certain areas that are already fruitful. You are destined to bear even more fruit. Resolve to abide in Him, to stay connected to Him always.
PRAYER TARGET: Pray in order to bear much fruit and that your fruit remains. Jesus said « By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. » (John 15:8)