Gospel: John 15:1-8
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.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Mass intention is for Vigil Mass OL -Teresa & Eugene Kostelecki RIP
HC – Joan C’s Intentions OL – Pat Guinan RIP.
“Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches. His banner over me is love.”, goes a song from yesteryears. In our First Reading today (Acts 9:26-31), we note “The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers.” Such peace and growth can only happen because of the abiding presence of the Risen Jesus. During this pandemic, one of the challenges for our parish or family (a.k.a. The Domestic Church) was staying connected. Thanks to the God of technology (yes, technology is within His scope!), we used any available media to be nourished by the Word of God, to spiritually be in communion with the Lord, to be updated, to be in touch. In good times and bad, presence matters. If that presence is absent, Jesus warns us: “without me you can do nothing.”
Easter gives us hope that Jesus is with us no matter what. With sin and death conquered, He gives us new life and new vision. Amidst the distractions of the world and the temptation to give up, the Lord reminds us today to stay with Him. “Remaining should know no rest and no stagnation, but rather should be alive, growing and developing.” (Adrienne von Speyr). To grow and develop into fruitful branches, we must allow the Father to prune us. Jesus is the vine; we are the branches. If we want to be fruitful, we must “let go and let God”.
- How do you keep yourself connected with the Lord and with others?
- In what ways does the Father prune you to become fruitful?
- “Only in the Lord is the Church alive.” (Adrienne von Speyr). How do you contribute to making this possible?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Help us to realize that without You, we are nothing. Remaining in You, may we faithfully continue the work You have begun in us. Amen.