Spring Cleaning: Pruning of Branches

 

This Sunday’s Gospel reading was from John 15:1-8. It talks of the infamous vine and branches analogy comparing our relationship with Christ the vine and God the Father as the gardener and how we are to remain close to Him.

In his homily (sermon) the priest at my church brought up the idea of pruning in our lives. Pruning is the removal of dead or sickly leaves/branches for the betterment of the whole plant.

My prayers this year have been focused on doing more of what is God’s will. I pray that He leads me towards what is better for me. The answer to that praying I believe is the reason for much of the pruning in my life. To be honest, when I look back in my adult life, the times when things have been ‘taken away’ have been moments of pruning. I am a very determined, slightly stubborn person. These qualities come in handy, but that also means that I hold onto things, relationships, jobs that are not best for me. Those things that are more draining than enriching, that pulls me further away from God than closer to him. We as humans are like this in many ways. We feed habits, nurture relationships that drive us away from the core of who we are–to remain in the vine.

As the priest explained the cutting of that branch will hurt. Those relationships that ended, those friends I “loved”,  the job I had to kill myself for, all of those cuts hurt because we devote so much of ourselves in them. But God in his infinite mercy knows that we will be rejuvenated and given more strength to do that which we were meant to do. May your spring be filled with blossoms of self-growth and joy.

Much like many do in the spring I have been doing a lot of spring cleaning. Dusting way old habits that had fallen back into (tardiness, poor self-image, lack of prayer). Planting new seeds of personal growth (planning out goals in greater detail, exploring new skills, openness in sharing my faith). I truly believe the combination of ‘dead branches’ being cut off and initiatives of self-growth