Fifth Sunday of Easter (B)
April 28, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.



Rite of Sprinkling





Almighty ever-living God,
constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us,
that those you were pleased to make new in Holy Baptism
may, under your protective care, bear much fruit
and come to the joys of life eternal.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading ACTS 9:26-31

When Saul had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples; and they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him, brought him to the apostles, and described for them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who had spoken to him, and how in Damascus Saul had spoken boldly in the name of Jesus. 28 So Saul went in and out among them in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He spoke and argued with the Hellenists; but they were attempting to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of it, they brought Saul down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. 31 Meanwhile the church throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was built up. Living in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.

Responsorial Psalm PS 22:26-27, 28, 30, 31-32

R/. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.

Second Reading 1 JN 3:18-24

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 19 And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him 20 whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and God knows everything. 21 Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have boldness before God; 22 and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commandments and do what pleases God. 23 And this is God’s commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24 All who obey his commandments abide in him, and he abides in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit that he has given us.

Alleluia JN 15:4A, 5B

Gospel JN 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples: 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 “Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Catena Nova

It is beyond dispute that a vine and its branches are of one and the same stock. Since Christ, therefore, possessed a divine nature not shared by ourselves, he became human precisely in order that in his own person there might be a vine of human stock whose branches we could become.... If branches are attached to a vine, it is not to confer any advantage on the vine; it is rather that the branches themselves may draw their sustenance from the vine. The vine is attached to the branches to provide them with their vital nourishment, not to receive anything from them.... If a branch is cut off, another can grow from the life-giving root; but once severed from the root no branch can remain alive.... Little fruit or plenty, there can be neither without him, because without him nothing can be done. Even if a branch does produce a little fruit, the vinedresser prunes it away so that it may produce more. But if the branch does not remain attached to the vine and draw its life from the root, it can bear no fruit at all (St. Augustine of Hippo).

The Lord calls himself the vine and those united to him branches (John 15:5) in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with him, and how important it is for us to remain in his love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Savior, those who are joined to him, as branches are to a vine, share in his own nature.... From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life founded upon our faith in him and our love for him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ, and we cling to his holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and who makes us aware of God’s presence in us....The proof that we are living in him and he is living in us is that he has given us a share in his Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with himself and with God the Father because they have been united to him by faith and determination to do his will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God, and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity (St. Cyril of Alexandria).

All though Scripture the vine is a symbol of God’s Chosen People.... Jesus declares he is not only united to his disciples but is one with them. Jesus is the source of the disciples’ life and calls them to form one single organism with him. Jesus is no longer viewing himself as an individual but as a living collective that is a perfect unity. All regenerated humanity is part of this organism.... Christ is the living principle of unity for the whole Church. It is only through Jesus that the vine, the Church, can thrust roots into the depths of the divine life and ensure that the divine life and love find their way to the farthest branches. Jesus is the source and the branches must draw from the life-spring in him.... The sap is love and a love that does nothing isn’t love. Only active love springs from union with Christ. Again, what is the fruit? The organic unity between Christ and his own has only one fruit, the union of love.... Godly love draws all together in unity and in the unity of mutually loving and caring for each other, and for all God’s children (Fr. Louis Bouyer).

The image of the vine and the branches is, above all, Eucharistic. The Eucharist is a public event. The wine in the Eucharistic celebration is the blood of Jesus that he gave to heal all of us of our violent ways. The blood of Jesus on the altar shared with each of us makes present to us the death of Jesus at the hands of persecutory humans as it also makes present the risen life of Jesus. In exchange for the way we betray Jesus with our violence, we receive the gift of life through deep union with Jesus, a union like that of the branches to the vine. We associate blood with violence, such as with the term “bloodshed,” but blood is the life within us and it is life that the Risen Jesus gives us through his Blood. This is the wine, the blood, that flows from the vine to the branches to connect us to Christ and to each other (Abbot Andrew Marr).

To be capable of mutual indwelling, or coinherence, means that religion has achieved its full and final purpose.... When you’re connected, there are no coincidences anymore. Synchronicities, coincidences, accidents and “providences” just keep happening. Union realigns you with everything, and things just start happening. I cannot explain the “chemistry” of it all. Some people call it “the secret.” All I know is that “the branch cut off from the vine is useless” (John 15:5), yet on the vine it bears much fruit (15:5, 7). The True Self is endlessly generative, in touch with its Source; the false self is fragile, needy and insecure (Fr. Richard Rohr).

The prophets in the Old Testament used the image of the vine to describe the chosen people. Israel is God’s vine, the Lord’s own work, the joy of his heart: “I have planted you a choice vine” (Jer 2:21); “Your mother was like a vine in a vineyard transplanted by the water, fruitful and full of branches by reason of abundant water” (Ez 19:10); “My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones and planted it with choice vines …”(Is 5:1-2)....John the Evangelist invites us to go further and leads us to discover the mystery of the vine: it is the figure and symbol not only of the People of God, but of Jesus himself. He is the vine and we, his disciples, are the branches. He is the “true vine”, to which the branches are engrafted to have life (cf. Jn 15:1 ff.)....Through the Church we abide in Christ, without whom we can do nothing (Jn 15:1-5)”. The Church herself, then, is the vine in the gospel (Pope St. John Paul II).




O God, you graft us onto Christ, the true vine,  and, with tireless care,  you nurture our growth in knowledge and reverence. Tend the vineyard of your Church, that in Christ each branch may bring forth to the glory of your name abundant fruits of faith and love. Grant this through Christ our Lord.  Amen. (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Antiphon

Offertory Hymn (John Michael Talbot)


I am the vine
And you are the branches
Live in me
And you will never die.

I am the vine
And my father is the keeper
Come to me
Let the Spirit bring you life.

Like a tree planted by the living waters
To stretch the fruits into the living stream
You will show no distress
In the heat of the drought
But still bear fruits and leaves?

Come to me all you heavy laden
My yoke is easy, my burden is light.
I will raise you up on the wings of an eagle.
And through God mountain will fly.

Come to me
Let the spirit bring you life.

Communion Antiphon


Closing Hymn

The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
the passover of gladness,
the passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our Christ hath brought us over,
with hymns of victory.

Our hearts be pure from evil,
that we may see aright
the Lord in rays eternal
of resurrection light;
and listening to his accents,
may hear, so calm and plain,
his own "All hail!" and, hearing,
may raise the victor strain.

Now let the heavens be joyful!
Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph,
and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen
their notes in gladness blend,
for Christ the Lord hath risen,
our joy that hath no end.