April 29 - Fifth Sunday of Easter: God prunes us

April 26th, 2018

Iamthewine.jpg

 

First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 9:26-31

Paul is accepted by the apostles at Jerusalem.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 22:26-27,28,30,31-32

The whole world shall praise the Lord.

 

Second Reading  1 John 3:18-24

God commands us to believe in Jesus Christ and to love one another.

 

Gospel Reading John 15:1-8

 

Jesus sets forth two situations. The first is negative: The branch is dry, it bears no fruit, and so it is cut off and thrown away. The second is positive: The branch is living and healthy, and so it is pruned. This contrast already tells us that pruning is not a hostile act to the branch. The vinedresser expects much from it; he knows it can bear fruit; he has confidence in it. The same happens on the spiritual plane. God intervenes in our lives with the cross. It does not mean he is irritated with us but, in fact, the opposite. This is even truer in the spiritual life. Holiness is like a sculpture. Leonardo da Vinci defined sculpture as "the art of removing," i.e. of taking away the pieces of marble that are in excess, so that the figure can emerge that one has in mind. Christian perfection is also obtained like this, by removing and making useless pieces fall off, namely, desires, ambitions, projects, carnal tendencies that disperse us and do not let us finish anything. Thus God would take the chisel, which is the cross, and begins to work on us. He takes the pruning shears, and begins to prune us.