Part 1 of 2
Daily office Readings for the 5th Sunday of Easter: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 24 and 29; Evening, Psalms 8 and 84;
Wisdom 7:22to 8:1; 2nd Thessalonians 2:13 to 17; Matthew 7:7 to 14;
For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. Although she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets; for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom.” (Wisdom 7:25 to 28)
We should ponder these words from the Wisdom writings. They bring us closer to God.
Part 2 of 2
Eucharistic Readings for the 5th Sunday of Easter: Year B
Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22:24-30; 1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8:
“Jesus said to his disciples,”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.” (John 15:1)
The true vine does not suggest false vines but rather, it makes us realize that there is a “main” vine that brings us the air we breathe and takes away spent oxygen to be expelled. Jesus goes on to say, “He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. So, either way we get cut. We can be cut off. Or, we can be trimmed so as to grow more fruit of God. The fruit that God is seeking is love.
Yesterday I trimmed some wild vines from around my front porch. From the main little stem were little stems with leaves. There were no flowers or fruit, just leaves. I imagine these leaves to be the actual love that God is looking for. The little stems could not make the leaves if they were not connected to the main stem.
Jesus says, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 5) This metaphor or vision of God as Vine Grower apart from the vine, works. God is Other than us but we are the produce of God’s hands and heart. “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” (John 15:8)
Let us live to love, more than just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John