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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

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Venerable Bede
Pope St. Gregory VII
St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

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

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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 being 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 is a "sucker branch" that not only bears no fruit, but 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 religious activities. 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. Refresh Me with the cool wind of Your Spirit.

Promise:  "Apart from Me you can do nothing." —Jn 15:5

Praise:  Pope St. Gregory VII's last recorded words are: "I have loved justice and hated iniquity...therefore, I die in exile" (see Ps 101).

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

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, XXX 11, 2011

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