Tag Archives: Gospel

Pruning The Branches

From desolation, comes new growth. Ever seen a vineyard after the harvest, just after all the vines have been pruned back? It’s a sure sign winter is coming. The entire field looks desolate. No greenery, all the fruit has been picked and sent to market or been pressed into wine. The same goes with how our Lord prunes us back. Sometimes He has to cut us all the way back to the spur, in order for a new shoot to emerge in the spring. What He is doing is removing everything in our souls that do not belong there in the first place. Causing the survival instinct to kick in (Fear of the Lord), and grow again, in a different way. A way which will produce the fruit, or good works, which we were intended to produce. Although it seems painful as we go through the dryness, God always assures us, he is in the field, constantly watching and nurturing his little plants.

Throughout the winter, the soul looks at what it used to be and realizes it no longer is that fruitless plant. It is only a pruned stick, but alive, as it is still attached even in the smallest amount, to the true vine.This is repentance. It does not cry for what it was, but rather looks to the spring to bud anew. Desolation in great or small amounts, is not a death sentence from God but rather His tender loving hand, forming the now tiny branch to do what it was intended to do. To grow where He needs it to grow rather than still a wild vine trying to choke out the branches that do produce the sweetest fruit.

Jesus said:
‘I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away,
and every branch that does bear fruit
he prunes to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,
and they are burnt.
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.’
John 15:1-8

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The Gate

From today’s Gospel reading of John 10:1-10

“I am the gate.
Anyone who enters through me will be safe:
he will go freely in and out
and be sure of finding pasture.”

In pondering this specific passage this morning, I am reminded of the Sacrament of Penance and our Lords “Forgiveness”. Not only is it there to cleanse the souls who have been away from the Church for many years, but also for all, in exile, because we walk out of “The Gate” many times, into this world surrounded by evil, only to run back in through “The Gate” to the refuge of Our Lord. Like new born chicks rush under the wing of their mother for protection.

Once the soul realizes the “Gate” will never lock it out, while in exile, the gift of peace and joy is revealed. The “Gate” is locked shut with the “Sheep” safe inside, when the soul is no longer in exile as long as the “Sheep” returns home before that time comes. The soul then strives for perfection for God and not self. That is why it is SO important to lead a Holy Life in Christ all the days in “Exile”. Because one never knows when his Master will call him home.

One beautiful personal message I received today at Mass was four little words, that carry the weight of the world for me. “I love you, anyway”. So many times have I ran through “The Gate” without even stopping to appreciate how beautiful “The Gate” is and cherish “The Gate” for being there. There is where the joy and peace can be found.

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“He Told Me Everything I Have Done.”

Once you taste His water, it is all you will desire…

Let me ask you for one second, to think about this… IF you do not know Jesus now, how will you know Him when He returns? What if He was to give you so many more chances to get to to know Him? What if He were right in front of you? Would you know Him? What if “Someone” were to tell you EVERYTHING you have done. Would you know who it was?

There is SO much information in today’s Gospel. I can only touch on a few words! This is a very personal gospel for me and I can seriously identify with the woman at the well, but I will not touch on that today.

I LOVE today’s Gospel John 4:5-42.. How many times do we “Think” we are not good enough to receive the gifts our Lord Jesus Christ is preparing for us? How many times we, because of the sins we have committed, believe that Jesus would rather give to “His Own”, when we in fact, are His own.

I am also reminded of Martha and Mary when I hear this gospel. Martha, although working for Jesus, spent her time working and missed out on His company, while Mary sat at our Lord’s feet, listening to every word. Eating the food He was providing her.

Reading a little deeper – “He Told Me Everything I Have Done.” Nothing can be kept hidden. NOTHING is hidden to the eyes of God. It is better to be honest now, then to wait until later. Therefor our Lord can use you as a “Worker” to feed others.

Jesus came to the Samaritan town called Sychar, near the land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well is there and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat straight down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink.’ His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘What? You are a Jew and you ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?’ – Jews, in fact, do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus replied:
‘If you only knew what God is offering
and who it is that is saying to you:
Give me a drink, you would have been the one to ask,
and he would have given you living water.’

You have no bucket, sir,’ she answered ‘and the well is deep: how could you get this living water? Are you a greater man than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his sons and his cattle?’ Jesus replied:
‘Whoever drinks this water
will get thirsty again;
but anyone who drinks the water that I shall give
will never be thirsty again:
the water that I shall give
will turn into a spring inside him,
welling up to eternal life.’

‘Sir,’ said the woman ‘give me some of that water, so that I may never get thirsty and never have to come here again to draw water.’ ‘Go and call your husband’ said Jesus to her ‘and come back here.’ The woman answered, ‘I have no husband.’ He said to her, ‘You are right to say, “I have no husband”; for although you have had five, the one you have now is not your husband. You spoke the truth there.’ ‘I see you are a prophet, sir’ said the woman. ‘Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, while you say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’ Jesus said:
‘Believe me, woman,
the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You worship what you do not know;
we worship what we do know:
for salvation comes from the Jews.
But the hour will come
– in fact it is here already –
when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth:
that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants.
God is spirit,
and those who worship
must worship in spirit and truth.’

The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah – that is, Christ – is coming; and when he comes he will tell us everything.’ ‘I who am speaking to you,’ said Jesus ‘I am he.’
At this point his disciples returned, and were surprised to find him speaking to a woman, though none of them asked, ‘What do you want from her?’ or, ‘Why are you talking to her?’ The woman put down her water jar and hurried back to the town to tell the people. ‘Come and see a man who has told me everything I ever did; I wonder if he is the Christ?’ This brought people out of the town and they started walking towards him.
Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, do have something to eat; but he said, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples asked one another, ‘Has someone been bringing him food?’ But Jesus said:
‘My food is to do the will of the one who sent me,
and to complete his work.
Have you not got a saying:
Four months and then the harvest?
Well, I tell you:
Look around you, look at the fields;
already they are white, ready for harvest!
Already the reaper is being paid his wages,
already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life,
and thus sower and reaper rejoice together.
For here the proverb holds good:
one sows, another reaps;
I sent you to reap a harvest you had not worked for.
Others worked for it;
and you have come into the rewards of their trouble.’

Many Samaritans of that town had believed in him on the strength of the woman’s testimony when she said, ‘He told me all I have ever done’, so, when the Samaritans came up to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, and when he spoke to them many more came to believe; and they said to the woman, ‘Now we no longer believe because of what you told us; we have heard him ourselves and we know that he really is the saviour of the world.’

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