Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B, 28th April, 2024

I am the vine, you are the branches.’

We are deeply rooted in the love of Christ. The risen Christ is the source of all that we need to grow ever closer to God.

In the First Reading, we hear how shortly after his conversion, St Paul was initially treated with fear and disdain by those he had been persecuting. Paul’s zeal for the Lord was grounded in a very personal encounter with Christ. Knowing that he was loved completely despite all that he had done before, gave him the encouragement to spread the Good News.

As a faithful worshipping Jew, Paul would have been familiar with praying today’s Psalm, an encouraging song of praise. It foretells how generations yet to come will be filled with the love of the Lord.

In the Second Reading, the writer counsels that even if we feel we have failed or fallen short in our response to God’s love for us, his love is so immense and all-forgiving that we need not be afraid. Knowing this, we can be free to live out the great commandment to love one another. 

The beautiful image of a vine carefully tended by the Father is used by Jesus to describe his and our relationship to God (Gospel). We are all sustained in an intimate co-existence with the Holy Trinity. Jesus invites us to remain close to him. Without him, our life is nothing, with him, we discover our true identity and purpose

This week, let us try to consciously be aware that we are branches of one vine, rooted in God’s love. Although we may have our differences and shortcomings, we are forever loved completely by a God of compassion, love and forgiveness. Let us pray that like St Paul, we will have the grace to live out this amazing Good News.