In his homily on today’s gospel, Fr. Johnny Go speaks about different kinds of branches. There is the branch that is full of leaves in early spring. There is the branch that is heavy with fruits. There is the branch on which some nest and nestlings are nestled. Then, there is the branch without leaves.

I have been all these branches at one time or another in my life. In my youth, I felt I was the branch that was full of leaves and sprouting out fragrant colorful flowers: eager to embrace what life had in store for me, adding color and shade to where life brought me, exuberant and grateful to be alive. It was the springtime of my life.

Then, the flowers on my branch became fruits. I was the most productive during this time in my life. Everything I got engaged in was capped with the fruits of success and accomplishment: I built my career, won kudos for my professional engagements, successfully managed projects, attained worthy goals. There was a beautiful home and a loving family to come home at the end of each work-day.

I have also been a branch with nests and still am. Anabelle and I have nestled and raised three wonderful sons. And now we are helping nurse two nestlings in our grandchildren. But I have also nestled and nurtured other nestlings who have come my ways as students in my classes; mentees, juniors, and colleagues at work; counselees, seekers, and searchers in my apostolates and training sessions.

Right now, I feel more and more like the branch without leaves. Such branches will blossom out again come spring. And I often wonder if and what kind of another spring is still in store for me. Will it still be in this life? Or, will my next spring be already the eternal one.

But through all the changes in the different branches, there is one truth. I am alive only if I am attached to the vine or the trunk. I do not have life of my own. I am alive because of the life energy that flows into me through the trunk or the vine. Through all the changes and the seasons, I pray that I shall ever be connected to the trunk and the vine.

I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
~ Psalm 22

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
John 15:1-8

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2 Responses to Branches

  1. Jane says:

    Thank you Vernie for being so faithful in this weekly post. You are an inspiration to many!

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