Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: bear fruit, he prunes, because of the word, Remain in me
Connecting the Gospel …
To the point: Bearing fruit—and even more fruit—requires pruning. The pruning tool of the Father-vine grower is the Son's word. Allowing this word to shape us brings forth a life-giving relationship with Jesus (likened to a branch that remains on a vine) that assures abundant and good fruit. Five times we are told to bear fruit Eight times we are told to remain in Jesus. How many times, then, must we be shaped by the word?
… to the First Reading: The Second Reading makes very concrete how we remain in Jesus: by keeping his commandment of love in deed and truth
… to experience: Every gardener knows the value and necessity of pruning. The hard work of cutting away what is dead, unwanted, or overgrown is rewarded by lushness of new growth.