5th SUNDAY OF EASTER-B
I Reading: Acts 9:26-31: Paul begins to preach but arouses hostility and has to leave Jerusalem.
II Reading: 1Jn 3:18-24: St John says that if we keep his commandments the Lord will answer our prayers.
Gospel: John 15:1-8: Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bear fruit in plenty
The purpose of God’s creation was to share God’s life and joy in heaven as well as on the earth. The first parents lost God’s life and joy by disobeying his commandments but God sent his Son to restore that life and joy which was lost or destroyed by sin of disobedience. God pruned Jesus Christ by the Word of God or Scriptures, passion, death and finally could bear much fruits rising from the dead and gave us the eternal life, joy and peace. Paul was pruned by the voice of the Risen Christ and converted and proclaimed the Good News to the people.
Today we can be pruned by the Word of God, prayers, faith, conversion, taking part in the Eucharist, sacrifice, service, doing good and bringing justice, equality, dignity, hearing and listening and obeying to the Word of God and his commandments and can produce much fruits of the Holy spirit. We can be called the children of God by obedience to his commandments and loving God and loving our neighbours as ourselves.
The Relationship of Jesus to the People of the World, Jn 15:1-8
Jesus was facing the most terrible scene in all human history. All most all rejected him including his own disciple Judas betrayed him, Peter denied him three times and other disciples were to flee and desert him. Now Jesus teaches us how to have a good relationship with God, Jesus and the world. In this passage Jesus saw a graphic lesson that the disciples needed to learn, the great lesson of “The Vine and the Branches”-the relationship of Jesus to the people of the world.
1. Jesus, the Vine; God, the Vinedresser; and man, the branch (v.1)
2. Unfruitful branches: Are taken away (v.2)
3. Fruitful branches (v.2-4)
a. Are pruned
b. The purpose for pruning
c. How branches are pruned
1) By the Word
2) By abiding, remaining
4. Unattached Branches (v.4-6)
a. Are by themselves: Not abiding or remaining, not attached
b. Cannot bear fruit
c. Do not understand the nature of bearing fruit in life: Can do nothing apart from Christ
d. Are doomed, gathered, thrown away, burned
5. Attached branches: Results and Promises (v.7-8)
a. Receive nourishment-answered prayers
b. Glorify God
c. Prove their attachment-discipleship
Thought: Bearing fruit means:
# righteousness (Rom 6:22, Phil 1:11, Col 1:10)
# godly character (Gal 5:22-23): the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
# converts (Rom 1:13): to turn their heart, mind and all works to God
Thought: Jesus Christ loves us because we God’s children, brothers and sisters, the household and family of God. He also loves us because we believe God, we earnestly seek God, we obey his commands and we deny self, take up our cross and die daily in order to follow Jesus (Lk 9:23).