A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Prayers of the People: Fruit of the Vine, Fifth Sunday of Easter

for Sunday, May 3, 2015, Fifth Sunday of Easter, Yr B, Readings: Acts 8:26-40, Ps 22:24-30, 1 John 4:7-21, John 15:1-8

        Then the Spirit said to Phillip, "Go over to his chariot and join it." So Phillip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, "Do you understand what you are reading?" He replied, "How can I, unless someone guides me?"  [Acts 8:29-31a]

        Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers and sisters are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.  [1 John 4:20]

       Jesus said to his disciples, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit...Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches."  [John 15:1-2, 4b-5a]

           Every gardener, even one with just a small plant, knows that good growth requires maintenance. Some plants, such as a vine or an apple tree, need pruning to make them stronger and able to produce more and better fruit. Along with water, sunshine, and good soil, a gardener must tend the pots, or rows, or fields, with care, knowledge of weather, season, and region or growing zones. 
          Jesus calls us to abide in Him, to be joined to Him as branches on a vine. We will bear much spiritual fruit if we cling to the Vine and allow our inner deadwood to be pruned to clear the way for new sprouting. But the fruit we bear is not for our own care and feeding ~ it is to be shared with others for their nurture and growth. As we, the branches, grow stronger, we draw together as brothers and sisters in a community of faith, hope, and eternal love in and with Christ as our Vine, the Holy Spirit as our Guide to understanding, and God Almighty as our Gardener/Vinegrower.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Jesus, Vine of Life Within Us, prune away detachment from our hearts and cultivate us as strong dynamic branches that bear an abundance of the fruit of Your love. Let us not wither, but flourish, as we abide always in You.
  
 Eternal God, Source of Infinite Love
RESPONSE:  Let Your seeds of compassion take root in our lives

~ Jesus, Vine of Life Within Us, grant us the desire and courage to stand in faith and act together, before all who govern globally and locally, so that justice to anyone is never denied. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Eternal God, Source of Infinite Love
Let Your seeds of compassion take root in our lives

~ Jesus, Vine of Life Within Us, comfort and heal all who are poor in health and poor in spirit and bring them into the full flower of Your inexhaustible hope. We pause now as we pray aloud for those in need…

Eternal God, Source of Infinite Love
Let Your seeds of compassion take root in our lives

~ Jesus, Vine of Life Within Us, restore peace in the hearts of those who grieve, while the ones we love enter into Your perfect and everlasting life. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Eternal God, Source of Infinite Love
Let Your seeds of compassion take root in our lives

~ Jesus, Vine of Life Within Us, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently…

Eternal God, Source of Infinite Love
Let Your seeds of compassion take root in our lives

~ Jesus, Vine of Life Within Us, bless those who guide our understanding of You, as they lead us from the wilderness road to the joy of knowing You in this life and the next. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Eternal God, Source of Infinite Love
Let Your seeds of compassion take root in our lives

The Celebrant adds: Holy God, Almighty Vinegrower, prepare our souls as the living and fruitful soil that will bring forth the harvest of Your love and peace, so that we may see, know, and nourish all people as our brothers and sisters. We ask this through our True Vine, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, our Guide, who together with You, live and reign as One God forever and ever. Amen.




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