Hard times are good times of pruning (Advent2Sat)

God of hosts, turn again, we implore,
   look down from heaven and see.
Visit this vine and protect it,
   the vine your right hand has planted.

Sometimes we can wonder how often this is really true: events do not always go as one would logically expect, and we think, yes, it would be a good idea if God looked down from heaven and saw what is going on.  However the thing to remember is that our very nature as the vine presupposes this.  We did not plant the vine – we did not start the Church. Christ did. Having planted the vine, he is the master of the the vine.  And that the vine has lasted so long shows he has continually been caring for it: for being the vine presupposes the work of the vine dresser.  And so this is what is happening when the things we expect do not play out: not that the vine dresser is not there – but rather showing that he is there, not letting the vine go wild, but rather pruning it to cut away what is rotten and to make it more fruitful.  This is what is happening in such times. So let us take such times in our stride, and give thanks that the Lord prunes us, prunes the Church, and ensures our survival and our flourishing growth. Amen.