Daily Gospel Reflection for May 17, 2017


Today’s Gospel: John 15:1-8

I have a black thumb, but my mother and grandmother were excellent gardeners. I remember watching them prune flowering bushes and other plants. As my memory tells it, “pruning” meant cutting off weak and/or useless parts so that the healthy parts of the plant could flourish.

But my husband, the gardener in our family, tends and prunes grape vines (and makes excellent jam from the grapes.) It turns out that when grapes are being pruned, even some of the healthy leaves need to be removed so that sunlight can reach the grapes. If the leaves aren’t pruned, the shaded grapes may rot before they are ripe and useable.

The first time I saw him do this, I thought he was crazy! Since I know that the leaves contain the chlorophyll which turns sunlight into food for the vine, how could the vine even stay alive with so few leaves? Obviously, there would be no fruit…

The same principle applies in my life with the Lord. There are times when I look at a flourishing part of my life – healthy, natural, good. But God, who sees the bigger picture, wants to prune it away so that it does not hinder the development of the fruit He desires. If I insist on keeping it, rot may set in, and the sweetness will be lost.


What parts of my life, though healthy and good, does God want to prune so that more fruit for his kingdom may ripen?


Lord, help me to see with Your eyes what things – people, activities, recreations – need to be pruned away so that I may bear much fruit for you.

Copyright 2017 Ellen Thomas

Ellen Thomas has been married to Roger for 35 years, and has 6 children, 5 children-in-law, and 15 grandchildren (as of the end of 2016.) She loves knitting, reading (mysteries and sci-fi are among her favorites,) singing in the choir, and cooking lots of food for family and friends. She lives near a Great Lake in Michigan.

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