“I am the vine, you are the branches” (Homily for the Fifth Sunday of Eastertide)

1 John 3:18-24 (shortened first reading)

My dear people, if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience, we need not be afraid in God’s presence,
and whatever we ask him, we shall receive, because we keep his commandments and live the kind of life that he wants.
His commandments are these: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we love one another as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments lives in God and God lives in him.

John 15:1-8

‘I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away,
and every branch that does bear fruit
he prunes to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,
and they are burnt.
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.’

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