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 26, 2021

Prayers of the People: Fruit of the Divine ~ 5th Sunday of Easter '21 Yr B

For Sunday May 2, 2021; Readings: Acts 8:26-40, Psalm 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]

     The poor shall eat and be satisfied, and those who seek the Lord shall praise him: "May your heart live for ever!"...My soul shall live for him... [Psalm 22:25, 29a]

   God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in the world.  
[1 John 4:16b-17] 

      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]

        Spring is in full bloom in this part of the globe. The weekend cacophony of lawn mowers, weed trimmers, ATVs, and skateboards rises with the temperature. Gardeners are happily filling their wheeled carts with soil, compost, and mulch, cleaning away the debris of winter, preparing the earthen beds for planting, and pruning shrubs, bushes, and trees. 
      Every gardener, even one with a single small plant, knows that good growth requires maintenance. Some plants, such as a grapevine 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 constantly tend the pots, rows, fields, or orchards with care. Knowledge of weather, season, and region or growing zones climate is essential.
      As a gardener watches for signs of growth as well as of decline, we must constantly tend our relationship with Christ, finding ways to be more intentional about the spiritual growth of our souls, and, awareness of our distractions that lead to neglect. The First Letter of John reminds us that when we believe the love God has for us through Jesus our Savior, God’s love is then perfected in us. It is with that perfected love within that we become the gardeners for growing God’s Kingdom on Earth.
      In the Gospel of John for this week, Jesus tells us that he is the true vine and that God is the vinegrower. Jesus calls us to abide in him as he abides in us, joined to him as branches on the vine. We will bear much fruit if we seek to prune our inner deadwood to clear the way for new spiritual 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 ultimate Gardener/Vinegrower. Even if Autumn is the new season where you are, there is always much to do to prepare your inner garden for the winter ahead. Whatever the season, we find our strength in Christ who keeps our souls rooted to produce the fruit of the Divine for us all.


Leader:  ~ Jesus, Abundant Vine of Life, prepare our souls as the fertile soil that will bring forth the harvest of Your love and peace. Teach us to see, know, and nourish all people as our brothers and sisters, companion branches in God’s Holy Vineyard.

                                                       Infinite, Abiding Lord
RESPONSE:                Guide us to perfect love

~ Jesus, Abundant Vine of Life, transform our complacence into compassion and ignite desire and courage within us to stand in faith and act together, for all who are denied justice and basic humanity, across this world and at national and local levels.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Infinite, Abiding Lord
                                                       Guide us to perfect love

~ Jesus, Abundant Vine of Life, comfort and heal all who are poor in health and spirit, and grant energy to all who give them care. We now join our hearts together to pray for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                       Infinite, Abiding Lord
                                                       Guide us to perfect love

~ Jesus, Abundant Vine of Life, fill us with praise and gladness and hope as the souls of those we love and sent ahead now live again, sheltered in eternity by Your forever Heart. We pray especially for… add your own petitions

                                                       Infinite, Abiding Lord
                                                       Guide us to perfect love

~ Jesus, Abundant Vine of Life, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials… add your own petitions

                                                       Infinite, Abiding Lord
                                                       Guide us to perfect love                

~ Jesus, Abundant Vine of Life, bless all who give their lives in service to Your Church, and walk with us through sometimes fallow fields and barren orchards, as we seek the joy in knowing You are with us now in this brief life and forever in the next.  We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       Infinite, Abiding Lord
                                                       Guide us to perfect love

The Celebrant adds: Living God, Eternal Vinegrower, prune detachment and sin from our hearts to cultivate strong, dynamic, and fruitful branches that flourish, not wither, as we abide always in You. We ask this through Jesus, our True and Perfect Vine; and the Holy Spirit, our Wisdom Guide; who together with You, live and reign as One God forever and ever. Amen.

All compositions remain the property of the owner of this blog but may be used with attribution and edited for local use as long as they are not sold or charged for in any way. For more information or comments, contact: Leeosophy@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment