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Sunday, May 21, 2000

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 9:26-31
1 John 3:18-24
Psalm 22:26-32
John 15:1-8

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fruitful or burnt branches?

"I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who lives in Me and I in him, will produce abundantly, for apart from Me you can do nothing. A man who does not live in Me is like a withered, rejected branch, picked up to be thrown in the fire and burnt." —John 15:5-6

Jesus is the Vine, and that makes us Christians the branches. The Lord insists that we be branches which bear fruit, not just ones with only leaves (see Mk 11:13). We become either an abundantly fruitful branch or a cut-off, burnt branch. We either bear fruit or are destroyed (see Lk 13:7).

We will bear fruit if we live in Jesus and He in us (Jn 15:5). We will bear fruit abundantly and live in Jesus if we:

  • let the Lord cut out of our lives anything displeasing to Him (Jn 15:2),
  • sow tears of sorrow for our sins (Ps 126:5; see also 2 Cor 7:11),
  • sow bountifully in almsgiving (2 Cor 9:6), and
  • die to ourselves (Jn 12:24).

In this Great Jubilee, let us pray for a new Pentecost in which the Holy Spirit will produce abundant fruit in our lives (Gal 5:22).

Prayer:  Father, keep me out of the fire.

Promise:  "This is how we know that He remains in us: from the Spirit that He gave us." —1 Jn 3:24

Praise:  Praise Jesus, true Vine (Jn 15:1), Redeemer, risen Son of God!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999