The parable of the vine should be a comforting one for us. We are all branches of the one true vine. We are dependent upon the Lord in all we do. “Without me, you can do nothing,” – no matter how much we think we can accomplish by ourselves. We can only bear fruit if we remain grafted to the vine.
And as such, if we bear good fruit we can expect to be ‘pruned.’ God will prune us just as a gardener trims and cuts back a plant so that it will grow stronger and bear even more fruit. The Lord teaches us today to look at all our sufferings and trials through the eyes of faith. We need to see the difficulties we encounter in our daily lives as pruning, by which we are being disciplined and trained so that we may grow stronger in holiness and bear fruits of righteousness.
Who are the branches? The Church frequently distrusts converts, as the early Church distrusted Paul, but we must remember that Jesus Christ Himself, not men, selects people to be His branches.
And how do we know that we are branches truly rooted in the vine? We keep His commandments, and do what please Him. We love one another as the Lord commanded us. If we do this then He will remain in us as we remain in Him. Then we can be confident that we are truly rooted in Christ and bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit.