Readings for this Sunday:
Psalm 22:26–27, 28, 30, 31–32 (Rx 26a or Alleluia)
1 John 3:18–24
Today we hear Jesus’s last I AM statement in John’s Gospel: “I am the True Vine.” As with last week’s Christological statement, we can fall into the trap of mishearing today’s Gospel as a judgment of those who aren’t already part of the vine and a comfort for those who are. God’s Word will not let us get away that easily. The emphasis in this reading and throughout John’s Gospel is on the unity of the disciples with Jesus and with one another. If we disconnect our love for Christ from our love for the diverse “community of strangers” that is the church, we have cut ourselves off from the Vine. If we branch out on our own, seeing our faith as an individual guarantee of salvation instead of the radical call to solidarity with God’s most precious ones—the poor, the marginalized, the ones left to die—then we have severed ourselves from the Gospel of Christ.
Our love for Christ will be measured “not in word or speech but in deed and truth” (second reading). Let us cling to the Vine, recognizing our need for one another, and let the Word of God prune away the diseases of racism, indifference, selfishness, and pride, so that we may bear good fruit and glorify the Father by our lives.
I Come with Joy
Normand J. Gouin, text by Brian Wren
G-9832 · SATB, organ
“I come with Christian’s far and near to find as all are fed, the new community of love in Christ’s communion bread.”
Our Lenten audio companion for Tuesday of the First Week of Lent reflects on the community of prayer created in our recitation of the Our Father. The communion procession is yet another expression of the community of faith. This corporate act of coming together to Christ’s table expresses our connectedness by virtue of partaking in the Body and Blood of Christ. We believe that Christ is present in the bread and the wine and this belief creates bonds that reach far beyond our parish or our community, but to Christians throughout the world. As you process to receive communion look at those around you. The community also represents the presence of Christ. Unite yourself to them in spirit to form a community of love as you receive the Eucharist.
– Victoria Zibell
More suggestions for the Fifth Sunday of Easter…
Deus Caritas Est Henryk Jan Botor • SATB, solo, organ • 009611
Holy Spirit Alleluia: Gospel Acclamation and Verses for the Easter Season Arr. Rob Glover • SATB, cantor, assembly, organ • G-8699
I Saw Water Flowing / Alleluia: Rite of Sprinkling and Gospel Acclamation for Eastertide James Biery • Unison with descant, SATB, cantor, assembly, organ • G-8469
O Christ, You Are the Seed That Died Paul Inwood, text by Delores Dufner • SATB, descant, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar• 009043
Take, O Lord, and Receive Lorraine Hess • SAB, cantor, assembly, keyboard, guitar • 008380
The Beginning and the End Liam Lawton • SATB, assembly, piano, guitar • G-7569