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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Sunday 5th (B) of Easter

1st Reading (Acts 9:26-31): When Saul 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 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.
Responsorial Psalm: 21
R/. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
I will fulfill my vows before those who fear the Lord. The lowly shall eat their fill; they who seek the Lord shall praise him: «May your hearts live forever!».

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.
2nd Reading (1Jn 3:18-24): Children, let us love not in word or speech but indeed 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 he gave us.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 15:4.5): Alleluia. Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord. Whoever remains in me will bear much fruit. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Jn 15,1-8): Jesus said to his disciples, «I am the true vine and my Father is the winegrower. If any of my branches doesn’t bear fruit, he breaks it off; and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, that it may bear even more fruit. You are already made clean by the word I have spoken to you; live in me as I live in you. The branch cannot bear fruit by itself but has to remain part of the vine; so neither can you if you don't remain in me.

»I am the vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not remain in me is thrown away as they do with branches and they wither. Then they are gathered and thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words in you, you may ask whatever you want and it will be given to you. My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit: it is then that you become my disciples».

«My Father is glorified when you bear much fruit»

+ Fr. Joan MARQUÉS i Suriñach
(Vilamarí, Girona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel offers us the allegory of the vine and the branches. Christ is the true vine, we are the branches and the Father is the vine grower.

The Father wants us all to bear abundant fruit. It is quite logical. The vine grower plants his vine so that it bears much fruit. If we set up a company, we want it to be profitable. Jesus insists: «It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain» (Jn 15:16).

You have been chosen. God has taken notice of you. Through the Baptism He has grafted you onto the true vine that is Christ. You have Christ's life, our Christian life. You own the main element to bear fruit: your union with Christ, for Jesus says it quite clearly: «Apart from me you can do nothing» (Jn 15:5). «His strength is nothing but mildness; nothing is so strong as gentleness, but nothing is so gentle as real strength» (St. Francis of Sales). How many things have you been trying to do without Christ? The fruit the Father is expecting from us is that of the good deeds and the practice of the virtues. Which is the union with Christ that allows us to bear this fruits? Faith and charity, that is, to remain in God's grace.

When you live in God's grace, all your virtuous acts are especially pleasant fruits for the Father. They are deeds Jesus Christ does through you. They are Christ's deeds that glorify the Father and become a heaven for you. It is worth living always in God's grace! «Whoever does not remain in me [because of sin] is thrown away as they do with branches and they wither; (…) and thrown into the fire and burned» (Jn 15:6). This is a clear allusion to hell. Are you like a branch full of life?

Let the Virgin Mary help us to increase the grace so that we can bear much fruit to glorify the Father.