Pruning vs Cutting

arun simon
3 min readApr 29, 2024

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 every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. (Jn 15, 1–2)

Jesus is the true vine. This image is very familiar to the people of that time. In the book of Ezekiel (chapter 15), prophet is equating Jerusalem to the wine tree. The situation is different there. It is a criticism against the unfaithfulness of the people. He is reminding them that the wood of the vine is useless, or it can only be used for burning. Or the tree of wine is useless without the production of fruits. Now the situation is different in today’s gospel. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We as branches have this ultimate privilege; we have connection to a trunk which is eternally fruitful. The connection helps (and only this) the branches to be fruitful.

We move into the important question of pruning. Pruning is different from cutting though both have quite some similarities. Pruning is done normally by someone who knows (an expert). Pruning for different plants are very different. Its painful like cutting, but the end goal is completely different. Good Fridays of our lives can be considered as cutting or pruning. For an easter Christian, good Friday leads to Easter. Pruning is for sake of life and the life to grow abundantly.

As parents and mentors, people correct their children or mentees. We always like to think of them as pruning; is it always so? It is good to ask and reflect on the same question. Just to bring one example. My son or daughter has done something wrong and they are terribly upset now. You, the parent is also terribly upset at their action. Unless it is an emergency, those angry moments may not be the best time for pruning. Yes, dear friends, pruning is an expert job. Can we let the emotions to settle down and can we have pruning through a friendly conversation?

We have to learn from Jesus. Just visualize the interaction of Jesus with Zacchaeus or the woman caught in the adultery. They are wonderful examples of pruning, leading to abundance of fruits. Pruning can’t happen without the co-operation of the branches; so, no pruning expert can do the task without the help and the support of the one to be pruned.

Jesus, the expert pruner, prunes us with love and mercy; that mercy is transforming us and producing something wonderful. Pruning is always for the sake of life and life in its abundance.

PS: This is a modification of yesterday’s homily, which I only published here because of the insistence of my bestie, as she found it productive.



arun simon

A Jesuit with all the crazyness… Loves Jesus…Loves church, but loves to challenge too… Loves post modern philosophy & Gilles Deleuze.. Loves deep conversations…