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April 28, 2024 – 5th Sunday of Easter

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Our Great Journey

This week our theme is “Remain in Me/ Permanece en Mi” based on John 15:1-8/ Juan 15:1-8

All pray the Sign of the Cross

Lord, Jesus Christ, we rejoice with all of creation because you have risen from the dead. As we celebrate the Great 50 Days of Easter, help us to understand the meaning of your empty tomb: death does not have the last word; light will triumph over darkness; sadness will be conquered by hope. Make us people of life, light and hope and help us to show and share our Christian joy with all. Amen. Alleluia.

In addition to our prayers from the heart, our prayer for April  is The Prayer to the Holy Spirit.  Please pray these prayers daily to learn. 

Using the Bible, invite a family member to read the Gospel aloud.

Things to talk about:

  • What happens to a branch when it is cut off a vine? What is Jesus trying to teach us through this analogy?
  • In what way does the story of the vine and the branches describe your relationship with Jesus?
  • Jesus says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” What would you ask of Jesus today?
  • Each of us is precious in God’s eyes.  So is the person who is unpopular, ignored or treated badly. From this Gospel teaching, what would Jesus think if we were to exclude or not welcome others?

Things to do:

  • Where do you see the images of the vine and the branches around our Church?
  • Plan a family planting day. Think about the Gospel as you plant. All of the flowers, leaves are connected to the stem of the plant. As your plant grows, remember the theme “Remain in Me,” Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, we always want to Remain in Him and stay connected and nourished by His great love.
  • Invite someone who has stopped going to church to come to Mass with you next week.

Closing Prayer

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

ACTS Prayer

This prayer will help you to stay close to Jesus. It has a simple formula using the acronym, ACTS. Spend time reflecting and sharing on the following prayer prompts.

  • A—Adoration—I praise You, God, for…
  • C—Confession—I am sorry for…
  • T—Thanksgiving—I am thankful for…
  • S—Supplication—I ask You for…

Name those who need our prayers. Close with the Sign of the Cross.

Catholic Insights

John’s Gospel is noted for the seven “I am” statements that Jesus proclaims before the passion account. Each statement offers us the deep truth about Jesus’ divinity and, therefore about God. Recall when Moses asked God his name in Exodus 3:14. “I am the vine, you are the branches,” is the 7th statement and theme of this Gospel.

             In a vine plant, water, and nutrients flow from the roots of the plant through the stem and into the branches. The more the vine grows, the more branches sprout. We are like the branches on the vine. Jesus gives us “living water” — God’s love and grace so we grow and bear fruit. Just as the branches are connected to the main stem, so our lives are connected deeply with the Risen Christ. We are called as Jesus’ disciples to extend the love and peace of Christ to all we meet because we are all connected. Jesus is working in our lives.

Just like a branch that is severed from the stem or trunk will die and be unable to produce fruit, if we are disconnected from Jesus, we cannot grow or bear fruit. We must Remain in Him. The realization that we are only the branches and sustained by the vine should fill us with deep humility. Life is not about just us but living and witnessing God’s love to all.

Do you know …the image of a vine would be familiar in Jesus’ time. Grapes were harvested to eat and used to make wine. Wine was part of Jesus’ table fellowship, including his first             miracle at Cana. At the Last Supper, the grape becomes the wine, the Blood of Christ.

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