Fifth Sunday of Easter


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 every one 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.”  (John 15: 1-8)

Today’s reading from the Gospel of John is part of Jesus’ discourse at the Last Supper.  John tells the story of Jesus’ Last Supper differently from the other Evangelists. In John’s Gospel, the Last Supper begins with Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Jesus explains to them how they must treat others.  He instructs the disciples that they need to follow everything He has taught them.  Jesus tells his disciples about the importance of following his example of love and service, about the gift they will receive when Jesus sends them the Holy Spirit, and about their relationship with Jesus and with the world. The Last Supper discourse concludes with Jesus’ prayer for his disciples.

Today’s Gospel reading is taken from middle of the Last Supper discourse. Jesus speaks about his relationship to his disciples.  He promises His disciples that their relationship will not end after His death as He will remain with them always.  Jesus makes the same promise to us – the Holy Spirit will enable us to continue Jesus’ work.  Like the disciples we are called to love and service.  We are called to be Christ for one another, and we need to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us with all we need to commit ourselves to Jesus.  Let us take time each day to allow that relationship to grow and develop.