Nov. 22, 2020 Christ the King Cathedral (507) Pruning ourselves
When I was young, our dad planted four pecan trees, one for each my sisters and I. The trees are planted deeply he explained, so that its roots are held firmly in the ground, secure against the elements that effect it, i.e. wind, rain, heat, snow, etc.
At our baptism we were anointed and invoked with the Holy Spirit. Throughout our lives we like a tree, experience trials and if we remain rooted in the teachings of both the Father and the Son, we will be able to endure what arises in life. “Are you not aware that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16)
A few weeks ago, as the temperature dropped, I noticed that the leaves on our pecan tree began to shrivel and fall. The scene of dead leaves scattered in the yard reminded me of the importance of us transitioning ourselves, like the falling of leaves on a tree as the year comes to an end.
“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.” (Jn. 15:2)
Each year our branches become cluttered with baggage that prevents us from our sacred duty, our call to serve God and neighbor selflessly and generously. As our season changes from fall to winter let us take a note from the trees as they shed their leaves, to conserve their resources. We too should do the same and remove the things in our lives which prevents us from living the life God created us for.
“We crowd God out of our lives by filling our lives with things that don’t matter. Remove the things that don’t matter to make space for God in your life – in your heart, mind and soul.” (Matthew Kelly: I Heard God Laugh)
As we prune and eliminate the clutter that fills our minds, lives and homes, let us spiritually prepare ourselves for the season of Advent, Christmas, and the New Year. When we decide to release and detach from our overabundance of things as furnishings, clothes, etc. we allow ourselves to focus our attention on being replenished by Jesus. Through faith and the Sacraments, we have been taught to rely on the strength, wisdom, and perseverance that God who is in charge will provide.
“I am the vine, you are the branches, says the Lord; whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.” (Jn. 15:5)
“God of all time and seasons, as autumn turns to winter and the days grow shorter, we remember and hope for your holy light in our lives. Give us your grace to see that where there is love, we find you among us – your kingdom here and now. Fill our hearts with your love and give us the courage and strength to share it freely as your beloved sons and daughters. Come Holy Spirit – enkindle us with the fire of your love!” (Rev. Bradley Metz, C.S.C.)