5th Sunday of Easter

Readings: Acts 9:26-31 1 John 3:18-24 John 15: 1-8

Theme: Jesus is the vine

Today is the 5th Sunday of Easter year B. Last Sunday we had the celebration of the good shepherd Sunday. Today we hear Jesus saying in the gospel that he is the vine and we are the branches. Cut off from him; we can do nothing. That goes to highlight just like last Sunday the bond that is supposed to exist between God and his people. God continues to express his love for us by establishing that bond that should remain between his creatures and himself. Today as we talk about Jesus who is the vine, it calls to mind the process a seed passes through before becoming a tree and remain as such. Any seed that is sown needs to be watered and to grow into a tree. As such, it is very difficult for a seed to grow to its full capacity without been nurtured. Jesus continues to nurture us until we become who he wants us to be; though we have free will to decide.

However, we have to play our own role if we truly want to remain bonded to Jesus who is the vine; because the branch of a tree cannot stand on its own without the vine. If we are cut off from him, we can do nothing. You and I cannot also stand on our own without Jesus. But if we remain bonded with him, if we remain united with him, we can be rest assured that we shall bear fruits that will last and stand the test of time.  These fruits are necessary for us, as children of God, if we want to make salvation at the end of our lives.

By virtue of the fact that we are baptized Christians and children of God, we already occupy a privileged position, what is left is our personal effort to be bonded with Jesus the vine. As long as we remain bonded with the vine, we can be rest assured that we shall bear fruits that will lead us to salvation. For us to be able to realize this, the 2nd reading gives us an insight on how to go about it. Our faith should be manifested in our love; it should go beyond words of the mouth. Our everyday life should reflect our faith in God, and as long as this faith reflects in our actions, we can be rest assured that we will be bonded with the Divine.

As long as we remain bonded with him, and our faith manifested in love, then we are on the right path. Dearly beloved in Christ, let us cling unto Jesus who is the vine. Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. We have to cling onto him. And for us to remain with him, it simply means that we have to be making honest and sincere efforts, to live a life that expresses God’s love, and live a faith that manifests his love. St Augustine says, “Love God and do whatever you will”. If our lives reflect faith in God that is manifested also through love, we can be rest assured that we will bear fruits that will last. We need him at every point in time and at every stage of our lives, to make the journey of faith with us.

Today’s liturgy invites us to make honest and sincere efforts to embrace Jesus the vine. We have to try and manifest this love in our human relationships, so that God’s presence will continue to manifest in our lives, and guide us in all that we do.

On this 5th Sunday, let us resolve to truly embrace the vine through living a life that is rooted in love. As long as we are truly part of the vine, we can be rest assured that we will bear fruits that will lead us to life everlasting.  May God grant us the grace to live a life that is founded on love. Peace be with you.

 

 

 

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Homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter Year B, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp
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