Bishop Jason Gordon

Bishop of the diocese o Bridgetown

I Am The Vine

I Am The Vine

The day started differently! As I left the Albergue at 5:45 it was just getting light. My goal was to walk 30 Km; my longest distance so far. My first thought - why not get a taxi or bus part of the way? Yes, a temptation! I recognized the temptation and quickly understood that it was not about anyone knowing or not, rather, it was about me knowing and God knowing. Character after all is doing the right thing because it is right regardless of who may or may not see. 

This thought left me feeling like the doldrums; like I was focusing on the destination and not the journey; like I was focusing on the arrival and not on all the good stuff to be experienced while getting there. The prayer this morning was wonderful and the Office and the Morning Prayer of the Church was comforting. It was during the Rosary that it all began to tumble together. 

I was walking through vine country. There were vineyards one after the other for kilometers on end. I passed a modern vine dresser pruning the vine with a tractor and the penny dropped, finally! The biblical text jumped out:

 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunessup styl="box-sizing: border-box;" data-fn="#fen-NIV-26702a" data-link="[a]">[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15)

 

Wow! God was pruning me to be more fruitful.  He was helping me to see the thought patterns and actions in my life that are not I keeping with His Gospel standards.  We had an intense and wonderful conversation. At the end of it I said, “Father, prune me! I want to bear more fruit for you and your Kingdom”. 

 

Many times in our journey, we experience the negative in ourselves. If we are patient enough and attentive to the inner stirrings, we will hear the still voice of God inviting us to a new depth.  This is God pruning us so that we will bear fruit in abundance. Embrace the pruning and you will be surprised how much growth it allows and how fertile we become. Pruning comes from reflection on our faults, or through others pointing out imperfections, or from our realization we are not all we thought we were. Anyway, our ego is deflated and we are brought back to the truth - we are a complex mixture of Grace and weakness. But more than this, we are incredibly loved by God. That is why He wants us to remain in Him as He remains in us. Only through pruning can we experience the mystical Union to which we are all invited. 

Location (Map)

Navarre, Spain
Companions on the Journey
Generosity! Extreme Generosity!