to yield fruit, yield
"The fruitful ones He trims clean to increase their yield." —John 15:2
Disciples of Jesus bear a lot of fruit, and they can grow weary. They need energy, because they are consumed as they live out their calling. A major battleground of a veteran disciple is the temptation to invest time in people or things they enjoy, which "give them life" and re-energize them. After a while, the disciple can find himself or herself starting to be energized enough by this source that they come to it to get energized instead of coming to Jesus (cf Mt 11:28). At this point, the activity has become a "sucker branch" that not only bears no fruit, it also consumes the disciple's time so they don't have much time or energy to bear fruit.
These activities may be good things or even a religious activity. Yet if we won't yield these activities to the will of God for the purpose of bearing fruit, the Father will soon come with a sharp sickle to cut them off. "He prunes away every barren branch" (Jn 15:2) from our life. He insists we bear fruit for His glory (Jn 15:8). Anything that keeps us from bearing fruit has to go. Whatever doesn't help bear fruit will soon wither and die (Jn 15:6; Mt 21:19).
Jesus is the Vine, our Energy, and our Strength (Ps 18:2). He knows we grow weary, so He invites us to come to Him to be refreshed (Mt 11:28). He consumes us (Heb 12:29). However, as we are consumed by Him, we are not burnt out (see Ex 3:2). Instead, we receive sustaining energy (Col 1:29; Heb 1:3) and new life (Jn 10:10). In Jesus, the Source of our strength, we have strength for everything (Phil 4:13).
Prayer: Jesus, when I get tired for You, may I never get tired of You. Blow a cool, refreshing wind of the Spirit in my life so that I may bear abundant, enduring fruit for Your glory (Jn 15:8, 16).
Promise: "He who lives in Me and I in Him, will produce abundantly, for apart from Me you can do nothing." —Jn 15:5
Praise: John is able to minister fruitfully to others because he takes time for Masses and eucharistic adoration.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 16, 2006
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