Engaging the Gospel – Fifth Sunday of Easter

Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B): Gospel – John 15:1-8

Today’s Gospel of the vine and branches is no mere imagery, but rather teaches us the truth about our profound union with Christ.

St John Paul II reflected on how we are incorporated into this mystery, and live it out, through the Church:

Christ lives in the Church, the Church is the mystery of Christ living and working among us…I want therefore to invite you all to a new discovery of the Church and of your mission in the Church…To be living branches in the vineyard of the Church means above all to be in living communion with Christ the vine.

This living communion is nourished especially through our faithful reception of the sacraments:

To be living branches, you must live this reality of your Baptism, deepening every day your communion with the Lord, by listening to his Word and obeying it, by participating in the Eucharist and the sacrament of Reconciliation, and by speaking personally with Our Lord in prayer.

“To be living branches in the vineyard of the Church also means accepting a commitment” to take part in the Church’s life, where “each one has his or her own place and his or her own task.”

“Take your place in the Church,” for we are not just passive “objects of pastoral care,” but “active protagonists in the Church’s mission.”

The Church is yours. More still, you yourselves are the Church! …The Church is not an abstract and disembodied reality. On the contrary, it is a very concrete reality: precisely, a diocesan Church gathered around the Bishop, successor of the Apostles. It is also the parish Church that you must discover, its life, its needs and the many communities that exist and work within it.

Message for World Youth Day 1990.

Question for reflection: How does parish life enable me to remain in the Lord and bear fruit?