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Wednesday, May 10, 2023

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St. Damien of Moloka’i
St. John of Avila

Acts 15:1-6
Psalm 122:1-5
John 15:1-8

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cut the lord a break

“He prunes away every barren branch, but the fruitful ones He trims clean to increase their yield.” —John 15:2

A glance at Scripture paints a picture of the Lord as a rather inconsistent Farmer. First, He goes crazy with the pruning shears, snipping off everything in sight, both fruitful and barren branches (Jn 15:2). In the next scene, the Lord cuts nothing at all. He refuses to cut weeds which threaten the fruitfulness of the adjoining wheat (Mt 13:29-30). Then the Lord allows an unproductive fig tree to go yet another year without fruit, so that it can have one more year of extra-special care (Lk 13:8ff). Next, He curses a fig tree without fruit, so that it instantly withers up (Mt 21:19). Finally, He allows unfruitful tenant farmers to treat Him with contempt for years, kill His messengers and even His Son (Mt 21:34ff).

The main point in these seemingly incongruous Scriptures is that the Father is the Vinegrower (Jn 15:1). God knows the proper actions to take in each situation and in each person’s life. If we are being painfully pruned, it’s tempting to compare our situation to others whom God treats with tolerance (cf Mt 20:12). We do better to respond with gratitude for His every action, painful or gentle. We do well to rejoice whenever God shows patience and compassion to those less fruitful than ourselves. We should praise Him instantly when He treats others more mercifully, praying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever” (Ps 136:1ff). “Trust in Him at all times” (Ps 62:9).

Prayer:  Father, I will trust in You with all my heart and rely not on my own intelligence (Prv 3:5).

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:  St. Damien of Moloka’i set aside his own fears to minister to a leper colony in Hawaii. He sacrificially served Jesus in the least of His brothers (see Mt 25:40).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  test

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