Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 287

1st Reading – ACTS 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R. (see 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – JN 15:4A, 5B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 15:1-8

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 everyone 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.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Being Pruned

Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor

“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 everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” John 15:1-2

Are you willing to let yourself be pruned? Pruning is necessary if a plant is to produce an abundance of good fruit or beautiful flowers. If, for example, a grapevine is left to grow without pruning, it will produce many small grapes that are good for nothing. But if care is taken to prune the vine, the maximum number of good grapes will be produced.

Jesus uses this image of pruning to teach us a similar lesson in bearing good fruit for His Kingdom. He wants our lives to be fruitful and He wants to use us as powerful instruments of His grace in the world. But unless we are willing to go through the purification of spiritual pruning from time to time, we will not be the instruments that God can use.

Spiritual pruning takes the form of letting God eliminate the vices in our lives so that the virtues can be properly nourished. This is especially done by letting Him humble us and strip away our pride. This can hurt, but the pain associated with being humbled by God is a key to spiritual growth. By growing in humility, we grow ever more reliant upon the source of our nourishment rather than relying upon ourselves, our own ideas and our own plans. God is infinitely wiser than us and if we can continually turn to Him as our source, we will be far stronger and better prepared to let Him do great things through us. But, again, this requires that we let Him prune us.

Being spiritually pruned means we actively let go of our own will and our own ideas. It means we give up control over our lives and let the master grower take over. It means we trust Him far more than we trust ourselves. This requires a true death to ourselves and a true humility by which we acknowledge we are completely reliant upon God in the same way a branch is reliant upon the vine. Without the vine, we shrivel and die. Being firmly attached to the vine is the only way to life.

Pray this day that you will let the Lord prune away all that is not of Him in your life. Trust in Him and His divine plan and know that this is the only path to bearing the good fruit God wants to bear through you.

Lord, I pray that You prune away all my pride and selfishness. Purify me of my many sins so that I can turn to You in all things. And as I learn to rely upon You, may You begin to bear an abundance of good fruit in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB and the Daily Reflections are adapted from My Catholic Life

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About Laban Thua 1019 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.