Today's Gospel: John 15:1-8 - Memorial of St. Athanasius Today’s Gospel is a challenge for all of us to step back and consider how we spend our time and efforts. Jesus explains to His followers that for them to produce good fruit, they must be pruned. Any good gardener knows that plants need to be pruned or pinched back so that they can flourish. In the same way, our heavenly Father knows what needs to be pruned in our lives so that we can grow in the Fruits of the Spirit and grow closer to Him in holiness. Pruning a plant allows for new growth in the space created. The same is true for our lives. When we say no to an extra commitment, strive to spend less time on our phone or television, or want to curb our procrastination, a void is created. This is a critical moment. What will we fill this void with? Jesus reminds His disciples: I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Jesus gives us the answer. We bear much fruit when we fill the voids, fill our lives, with Jesus. We are so blessed to have a Church that is full of beautiful prayers, devotions and spiritual practices. You might be called to prune back the amount of television you watch, or time spent on social media, so now you have time for praying Evening Prayer or a rosary. If you are discerning adding another commitment to your or your family’s schedule, consider whether it will enhance or hinder your prayer life.


What are some opportunities in my life where I can prune back a habit or activity and create space for a spiritual practice?


Dear Jesus, thank You for the opportunities to prune my life so that I might discover new ways to flourish in and through You. Help me to discern where and what to prune away so I can fill those voids with opportunities for grace and growth in holiness.
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