Reflection by Leona Peszka
Today's Gospel: John 15:1-8
Have you ever felt that your spiritual life has grown stagnant, or that you are struggling to tend to and nurture your relationship with our Lord? Have you felt so overwhelmed by negativity that you have been unable to experience and cultivate God’s Joy? Our Gospel today reminds us that we can overcome these feelings of spiritual dormancy with just a bit of pruning.
Pruning is necessary for growth and development. Its process cuts away the dead parts and allows for a greater opportunity to thrive. As the branches on a vine are snipped to increase their fruitfulness, so must we be reduced to make way for a renewed life in Christ.
Reconciliation is God’s way of pruning our souls. When we confess our sins, Jesus takes away the shame and guilt and provides us with the love and mercy we need to flourish in His kingdom here on earth.
But that’s not all! As the Gospel illustrates, to truly blossom and produce we must remain connected to the vine. In other words, in those times of darkness and despair we must cling to Jesus and allow His life to flow in us and through us. We must trust in God’s pruning and believe that it is only through Him that we are able to bring about good and live as His disciples.
As we reflect on the Gospel message and celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima today, let us focus on Mary’s messages of prayer and repentance and the call to a conversion of heart. Let us pray for her intercession that we may be just like a branch that has been cut back, reconciled to and revitalized by the Vine; a branch that yields only the worthiest of fruits.
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How can you begin to recognize the need for God’s pruning? And once revived, how can you glorify Him?
Dearest Lady of Fatima, help us to grow steadfast in our faith by remaining forever united to your Son, our Vine. Guide us to repent of our sins, so that we can be Jesus for others; to be fruitful and holy.
Copyright 2020 Leona Peszka
Leona was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA and is a graduate of the University of Tampa. She was commissioned as a Lay Ecclesial Minister by the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL in June of 2014. She is currently the Program Assistant and Theological Reflection Mentor for the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute in that diocese. Her experience includes involvement in numerous parish liturgical, spiritual and pastoral ministries.
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