MAY 5. EASTER. Wk 5. Wed. Jn. 15. 1-8
Updated: Sep 5
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away,
and every branch that does bear fruit
he prunes to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,
and they are burnt.
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.’
This reading has appeared twice this week, today and May 3, but the reason for this is that the earlier appearance was on the feast of two of Christ’s Apostles, for which the reading is so appropriate; - with its focus on achieving union with Jesus Christ, Son of God and son of man
And we can rejoice today that the same invitation, to enter into union with Christ, has also been offered, not only to “ordinary” Christians, but to every person on the face of the earth. This was why Christ became a man; - firstly, to redeem us, and secondly, to teach us!
But it is not an invitation that comes without cost, and this is the reason so many choose to ignore it; - as they see the “cost” being too great; - which is a tragedy. If an earthly King was to invite a citizen to become a member of his household, the response would be immediate, no matter what they had to give up; - but not so when the invite comes from Almighty God?
A creature being invited to become one, in a union of love, with their Creator? The idea is ridiculous; - but that is exactly what Christ is offering us; - and all we are called to do is to follow his teachings; - and Love God and Neighbour!
“All who love me will do what I say, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them, and make our home in them!” (John 14. 23)
Gospel Acclamation John 15:4. 5
Live in me and let me live in you, says the Lord;
my branches bear much fruit.
First reading Acts 15:1-6
They were to go to Jerusalem and discuss the problem with the apostles and elder
Some men came down from Judaea and taught the brothers, ‘Unless you have yourselves circumcised in the tradition of Moses you cannot be saved.’ This led to disagreement, and after Paul and Barnabas had had a long argument with these men it was arranged that Paul and Barnabas and others of the church should go up to Jerusalem and discuss the problem with the apostles and elders.
All the members of the church saw them off, and as they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria they told how the pagans had been converted, and this news was received with the greatest satisfaction by the brothers. When they arrived in Jerusalem they were welcomed by the church and by the apostles and elders, and gave an account of all that God had done with them.
But certain members of the Pharisees’ party who had become believers objected, insisting that the pagans should be circumcised and instructed to keep the Law of Moses. The apostles and elders met to look into the matter.