April 27, 2016

April 27

April 27, 2016:  Wednesday, 5th week, Easter



  • Tie with grapes, other fruit:  "I am the true vine"; bear fruit (gospel)
  • 'Castle' button:  "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord" (psalm)
  • 'Precious feet' pin:  "We have set foot within your gates" (psalm)
  • Red and white shirt, white socks:  Red for fire ("Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch, wither, and be thrown into a fire and burned") (gospel), white for Easter season
  • 'Sailboat' tie bar:  disciples go to Jerusalem about the question about circumcision and salvation (1st reading)
Listen

We can just look on when we see people worn out by hunger, violence, and injustice, but ignoring suffering is ignoring God.  In the Good Samaritan parable, the priest and Levite's inaction was contrary to the Law of the Lord.  The Law obliges us to help anyone in distress.  Their religiosity was inauthentic; it didn't find expression in service.  True love sees and responds.  Those who frequent the house of God and are aware of his mercy don't necessarily love others.
Samaritans, schismatic Jews, were despised as impure pagan outsiders.  This one had other things to do, but when he saw the wounded man, he stopped and personally took care of him with compassion, an image of the mercy God encounters us with.  God recognizes our pain, knows when we need help and consolation, comes close, and never abandons us.  By the end of the parable, we see the “neighbor” is not so much the one in need, but the one who responded with compassion.
The command to love God and neighbor is practical:  care for others to the point of sacrifice.  If we have compassionate hearts, like Jesus we can be close to anyone in need.
I am the vine...
(animate)
Read

  • Acts 15:1-6  Because much dissension followed the instruction of some that you needed to be circumcised to be saved, they decided to go to the Apostles and presbyters about the matter.  When they arrived, they were welcomed, they reported what God had done, and the Apostles and presbyters met to see about the matter.
  • Ps 122:1-5  "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."  We've set foot within Jerusalem.
  • Jn 15:1-8  "I am the vine; my Father the vine grower who prunes branches so they bear more fruit; you, the branches.  Remain in me, as I in you, and bear fruit."
Reflect
    • Creighton:  The 1st reading recounts an early Church debate:  do Christians need to be circumcised?  They ultimately admitted uncircumcised gentiles.  As we debate today's issues, we must continue to love and understand each other. / Jesus' listeners knew about vineyards:  they needed tending and pruning, the vine is necessary for the branches to live, healthy vines yield more grapes....  We branches must remain in the Vine.  May we glorify the Father by bearing much fruit and becoming his disciples.  It's not enough to be supported by the vine; we need to carry out God’s plan for us by loving God and one another.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Spring cleaning":  We must let the Lord clean us so that we may bear fruit abundantly.  The upcoming preparation for Pentecost is a great time for cleansing....

    • Passionist:  “Remain in me” means more than "pray."  I am one with God and one with the other “branches.”  How will I let Christ live in me today?
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Abide in me, and I in you":  The house of Israel is "the Lord's vineyard."  God planted Israel "as his choice vine."  But the vine was also a sign of degeneration:  Israel "yielded wild grapes"; it became a "degenerate and wild vine."  When Jesus calls himself the true vine he makes clear that no one can claim their spiritual inheritance through association with a particular people; only through him can we be grafted onto the Vine.  The vine becomes fruitful through careful pruning so non-fruit-bearing branches don't sap strength from the fruit-bearing ones.  There can be no fruit in our lives apart from Jesus.  May we abide in him and let him purify us....
      • Maughold, pirate turned bishop?