Starting in February, my cousin and his wife go out into the fields and prune acres and acres of blueberry bushes. It's hard work, and they have to know where and how much to prune each bush to ensure it bears berries the following summer. Too much pruning, and the bush could be lost for the season and maybe beyond; too little, and it will not bear as much fruit as it did the year before. It is an art form learned through years of experience and a few mistakes.
What does God wish to prune from us? It may be selfishness, greed, the desire to have more than we need, to control others and situations, and unhealthy egotism. You probably can add more to this list if you really think about it.
Pruning is done so that the branch can bear more fruit. What fruits does God wish us to bear more of? I think the letter from John gives us a clue: love not in word or speech but in deed and truth. Now, it doesn't always have to be in grand gestures and in marvelous deeds. It could be as simple as making life a little easier for someone by anticipating her/his needs, by volunteering to go a little beyond what is expected. It could be picking up after oneself at a park, on a beach, or in church. It could be as simple as acknowledging the person who is at the register bagging your groceries, treating them as a human being rather than a functionary. Think about it. You can add more opportunities to love in deed and in truth. With the help of God, prune and bear more fruit.
fr. Sas, May 3 Homily, 5th Sunday of Easter