Pruning Time/Heart Time

Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Easter by Sr. Marie Lucey, FAN Director of Advocacy and Member Relations.

This reflection was originally posted in our April 27th newsletter

Although he was a carpenter by trade, Jesus was familiar with the work of farmers and vine growers. He references wheat, corn, fig trees, mustard seeds, and in today’s gospel, vineyards. He knows that productive vines need pruning, and, of course, if a branch is separated from the vine it withers and dies. Recently, I brought my geranium pots up from their winter slumber in the basement. It was time to cut away dead leaves and prune green stalks down close to the soil. Now it’s time to feed, water, and watch for growth. One or two plants may not survive, but they deserve a chance after giving so much pleasure last year.
Pruning can mean severe cutting. After winter frosts, rosebushes are dramatically cut back. The pruner cannot be timid if he or she wants abundant roses to bloom. Perhaps it’s pruning time spiritually also. We can be choked by busyness, by self-centeredness, by continual new demands on time and energy. We can feel helpless and discouraged by global violent conflicts, attacks on poor and migrant people, rape of Earth, congressional quagmires. Pruning for the sake of abundant life may not always involve cutting. Perhaps it can mean carving out spaces for contemplation, for re-connecting to our vine, Jesus.


In this “pruning” we get in touch with our hearts and remember, gratefully, that “God is greater than our hearts and knows everything” (1 John 3: 20) – our failures, frustrations, feelings of inadequacy and helplessness. In his First Letter, John reminds us that we are “Beloved,” and “if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God, because we keep God’s commandments,” that is, to believe in Jesus and love one another. In this way, we remain in Jesus and Jesus remains in us, branches and vine, bringing forth much fruit. May we move into pruning time without fear or timidity, but with confidence in God because “our hearts do not condemn us.”


Sr. Marie Lucey

FAN Director of Advocacy and Member Relations

Published in: on April 28, 2015 at 1:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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