Dear Brothers and sisters
This piece of the Gospel seems to be saying; be good or else! The One that gives us the option of sticking with God, or be cast aside; but the more I look at it the more it changes, it transforms.
Context in everything is important. Jesus is sitting on his last night before the crucifixion with his disciples. He has washed their feet, eaten with them, and, Judas has just left. Jesus starts to speakto them. Imagine your last night sitting with your friends! What message would you give? What advice? Jesus leaves a key insight for the apostles to hear and learn from.
When looking at this Gospel a friend of mine suggested to look at electricity and appliances, a modern example. If appliances are not connected,they simple won’t work. Electricity brings everything to life, but, disconnected from it we have nothing. The appliances produce nothing.
Last week we had that experience when our area lost all electricity for 6 hours. We used candles and gas to boil water. The house was full of things, but none could be used. Spiritually we need God in our lives, we need his connection as Christians.
God the Father in this parable is the gardener, He is diligent, each branch is looked at by the Father, He works on every part.
We will fail at times, like the apostle Peter who soon after hearing this parable, denied Jesus, or when the apostles fell asleep in the garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus needed them most, it is in this failure we see that the apostles have cut themselves off from God’s love. However, the apostles link back to Jesus after the resurrection. They are nourished by God and they bear fruit. In life we too fail, we turn away from God and cut ourselves off from him. We wither, but when we open to God and his life-giving power, we grow and produce fruit.
As the church re-emerges in this post pandemic world, it is important to connect back to God and take the lessons or the pruning from last year and begin our spiritual growth again.