Sunday, May 2
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Roman Ordinary calendar
Acts of the Apostles 9,26-31.
When he arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.
Then Barnabas took charge of him and brought him to the apostles, and he reported to them how on the way he had seen the Lord and that he had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.
He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem, and spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord.
He also spoke and debated with the Hellenists, but they tried to kill him.
And when the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him on his way to Tarsus.
The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the holy Spirit it grew in numbers.
I will fulfill my vows before those who fear him.
The lowly shall eat their fill;
They who seek the LORD shall praise him:
“May your hearts be ever merry!”
All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the LORD;
All the families of the nations
shall bow down before him.
To him alone shall bow down
all who sleep in the earth;
Before him shall bend
all who go down into the dust.
And to him my soul shall live;
my descendants shall serve him.
Let the coming generation be told of the LORD
that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born
the justice he has shown.
First Letter of John 3,18-24.
Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.
(Now) this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn, for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if (our) hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God
and receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit that he gave us.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 15,1-8.
Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
Reflection from Integrated Catholic Life:
In these few short words, Jesus explains that the way to spiritual progress is through Him. Our job is to say yes, to surrender.
When we remain in Christ, we acknowledge that God is the source of all that is good, including the good that He calls us to do.
So often we struggle and make no progress… then in frustration we wonder why.
The answer is simple. What is it that I am afraid to lose? What the Lord offers is so much more than anything I have. So let go! What is it that I am afraid of? Let go!
In the image of the vine and the branches, we see clearly that our life is from the Lord. Everything that is good comes from Him. If we surrender and bear fruit, the Father will work in us to produce more.
A prayer to help us surrender:
Sucipe (Receive) by St. Ignatius of Loyola
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. Thou hast given all to me. To Thee, O Lord, I return it. All is Thine, dispose of it wholly according to Thy will. Give me Thy love and Thy grace, for this is sufficient for me.