Friday, 1 May 2015

3.5.15 I am the true vine.

Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year B)

Welcome to the Fifth Sunday of Easter.  This week we explore another beautiful metaphor used by Jesus to help us understand our relationship with him and the Father: the vine.  I hope that a little liturgy will assist the process of pruning!  Check out some great artwork for this topic over at: the kids bulletin

Summary of Liturgy of the Word

First Reading
Acts of the Apostles 9:26-31
Barnabas stands up for Paul (who used to be called Saul) and says that although he used to persecute the Christians, he is now one of them and bravely teaches Christ's word.  Paul tried to explain himself to the Hellenists but they would not listen and started to plot to kill him.

Psalm 21
You, Lord, are my praise in the great assembly.

Second reading
1John 3:18-24
St John says that we must show that we are Christians by our love and by keeping God's commandments.  These commandments are "that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ" and "that we love one another as he told us to".  

John 15:1-8
Jesus uses the metaphor of the vine to describe our relationship with him:  "I am the vine, you are the branches".  If we stay attached to him we will bear fruit; if we leave his way we will be like withered branches that are collected and thrown on the fire.  He says that God the Father is like the vinedresser.


Just as last week we explored the shepherd metaphor, this week we are asked to think about the vine. A key phrase to think about from the Gospel might be "A branch cannot bear fruit all by itself".  If we are the branches of the vine, we require the rest of the vine (Christ) to sustain ourselves and the Word of God to nourish and tend us.  It is also notable that vines begin to grow again after pruning and then produce grapes.  We should also think about the connection between Christ as the vine and the wine that we offer at Mass as a sacrifice which then becomes Christ's blood.  

Activity during Homily

1.  Draw a grape vine and label each branch with the name of someone you know who helps in your life.  Label the main stem as "Jesus".

2. Read the prayer below and listen out for it at Mass today.  You might like to wink discretely at who ever is with you when you hear it!

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation,
for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you:
fruit of the vine and work of human hands,
it will become our spiritual drink.

3.  We also hear Jesus say:

"I am the light of the world"
"I am the bread of life"
"I am alpha and omega"
"I am the door"

For each of these symbols draw a picture and try to write one sentence to describe what this symbol is saying about Jesus.  

Other activities and resources

You might like to find out about different types of farming in Biblical times at:

Farming in Biblical times

Below is a beautifully illustrated hymn based on today's Gospel:

"I am the vine" youtube clip

I hope that a little liturgy has been fruitful for you this week!


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