Local stories, events, and Catholic inspiration in northeast Wisconsin

Allow Jesus to help you bear good fruit

Readings for April 27-28, Fifth Sunday of Easter

By Lyn Zahorik | For On Mission

Many of us have taken a road trip to Door County to view the orchards and vineyards when they are in bloom. It’s not unusual to see in the vineyards piles of discarded vines and branches. These piles are the work of the vinedresser.

Vinedressers have a relationship with their produce. They are evervigilant to ensure that the blossoms and eventual fruit are protected from disease, birds and marauding animals. 

The vinedresser closely inspects each plant, gently examining it, looking at it from various angles before a decision is made to cut a vine from the main branch. Perhaps, the branch was showing disease. It may have been a sucker branch and was impeding other healthy branches from growth. The vinedresser may have seen indicators that this particular vine would not bear fruit. The decision was made, for the sake of a healthy vine, that these less viable branches need to be discarded.

Jesus tells us he is the Vine/Vinedresser and we are his branches. Each of us desires to be in a strong vine and branches relationship with Jesus, yet often, we focus on what we are doing to promote that relationship and can easily lose sight of and gratitude for what Jesus as the Vinedresser does for us each day.

Jesus is active in our life. He pays attention to us. He pours out grace to feed and nourish us. When we are feeling weak, he takes steps to keep us attached securely to the vine, often through a community that gathers around us in support and prayer, grasping onto our flailing tendrils and weaving them more securely into the vine.

Jesus desires that we allow him to prune our branch. If we are to bear good fruit, we need to live in the full light of “the Son.” We need to trust Jesus to remove hindrances, bad habits and even people from our lives who are shadows blocking the light.

Jesus knows what needs to be discarded from our vine. There are areas in our life that eventually wither and dry up. It is important to surrender to the cut of Jesus’ blade. Perhaps we need to let go of an old prayer style, so that a more life-giving one can flourish. Jesus may desire to cut away a long-harbored grudge we hold or temper an obsession we have with sports, gaming or shopping that is sapping our energy to grow our fruit.

Lastly, Jesus as the Vinedresser delights in accepting honor from the abundance of fruit we produce. Imagine Jesus holding the goodness of your life, the results of your discipleship tenderly in his hands. He inhales deeply the rich scent and appreciates the beauty, color and maturity of our fruit. We are “the apple of his eye.”

Jesus has planted us in his vineyard out of love. He loves each of us individually in the midst of all his vines and branches. He is the Master Vinedresser. He knows what is best for the vineyard. There is no love like his. Do not resist his work within you. 

Zahorik is director for spiritual engagement at St. Mary Parish, Omro, and St. Mary Parish, Winneconne.

The readings for Sunday, April 28, can be found at Fifth Sunday of Easter | USCCB.

Scroll to Top