So, the dead wood is gathered and burnt!
There is an expectation that we produce fruit.
We are given a way to produce abundant fruit, but we must expect to be pruned.
The Royal Commission into the Financial Services Industry has revealed that even in that important sector of Australian society, the call of today’s readings “that we love one another” has not been heeded let alone, perhaps, ever received. So, the pruning shears are out and, perhaps, with vengeance!
For us who have received the other part of John’s instruction “that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ”, the call to produce fruit is paramount. Further we are reminded of what happened to the Vine. Given that truth, no wonder we celebrate in the land of the long white cloud the death of Peter Chanel who met an untimely death (in our human estimation) after a brief period of 40 or so months and a handful of Baptisms. Pruning take place in strange ways. Paul got a little taste of pruning this weekend in Jerusalem (having been the agent of pruning on an earlier occasion in the same city). He endured the complete prune later in Rome.
We journey into the new week. Perhaps the word can simply be this week: “Live in me and let me live in you.”