Fifth Sunday in Easter - May 3, 2015

I Am The Vine, You Are The Branches

In this famous line, Jesus summed up the Christian spiritual life. He is the source of our life, our being. He is also the source of God’s life with in us. Through the Spirit, Jesus gives us the power to walk the path of faith.


WEEKLY BLOG  In this week's blog, we discuss the subject of intimacy.

VIDEOCAST  In this week's videocast, we consider the Vine and the Branches image along with divine intimacy in the Eucharist.

MP3 PODCAST In this week’s audio podcast, we consider the vine analogy of our spiritual life. Christ in the vine, we are the branches. Like fruitless branches, the dead parts of lives get cut away, so that our hearts and commitment can grow. We grow by becoming closer to God and closer to others.

FIRST READING We investigate the results of St. Paul’s conversion in the book of Acts. After his conversion, Paul had few friends. Jews disowned him and Christians distrusted him. It would take years to gain a new circle of friends, ones who would stand beside him in ministry.

PSALM Psalm 22 was a snapshot of life in adversity, but a life of faith. “Why me, God?” turned into a song of praise for the Master of the Universe.

SECOND READING How do we know where we stand with God? In 1 John, the author gave a direct answer. We know we are close to God when we show love to others.

GOSPEL “I am the vine, you are the branches.” This famous line from John’s gospel described the relationship of the disciple with the Master. The Master Gardener prunes and shapes the vine to produce fruit; the Master is also the source of life for the branches. As Christians, we sometimes will suffer for faith, so we can grow in faith to serve others.

CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, we discuss the life of St. Paul in Jerusalem after his conversion. In the story for the gospel, Coach Kathy challenged Billy to develop as a team player and become strong, like a mighty oak tree. We develop and grow strong as followers of Jesus, for he is the vine and we are his branches. He gives us his life.

CATECHISM LINK In this week’s Catechism Link, we investigate a life in the Spirit, a life deeply connected to Christ.

FAMILY ACTIVITY Develop a family mulch pile. Use this mulch pile to compare dead branches to live ones. Discuss the comparison in the context of a spiritual life with your family members. How does selfishness bring death to our hearts? How does Jesus bring our hearts alive?

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