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Pray With Us (weekly reflection)

Reflection for April 29, 2018
 Fifth Sunday of Easter

First Reading: Acts 9: 26-31
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 22: 26-28, 30-32
Second Reading: 1 John 3: 18-24
Gospel: John 15: 1-8

Reflection 
"God is greater than our hearts and knows everything."  These words from the first book of John remind us that God's love is expansive, ever-flowing and gift to us.  Jesus is the embodiment of this great love God has for us.  Through this loving relationship we learn to love ourselves and others no matter who I am or what I believe; no matter who the others are or what they believe. God commends us to God's self in a love deeper that we can imagine.  This relationship is a challenge for us to live our lives to the fullest potential, calling others to the same kind of commitment to "love in both deed and truth."

We are remided that we are intertwined with each other and with God as vines, branches and fruit.  This God of ours is the vine and we are the branches, together bearing fruit, witnessing to the all-encompassing compassion, challenge and humanity of God-with-us.  Whoever remains in this relationship with God, by whatever name, find themselves loved and sharing that with those in need of reassurance that they are lovable.  We witness in our everyday lives that whatever we ask in our hearts will be done, God and humanity will be glorified, we will "bear much fruit" as disciples of Jesus.  How have we experienced this expansive love of God and shared it with others?  What is my responsibility in this relationship to bear fruit, give life to others as God does with me?

Prayer

God of all, grace us with the strength and openness to experience your love in our hearts and willingly share that love with all.  Help us take up the challenge to enter into this relationship and witness to it through our daily actions.  May we bear much fruit in deed and truth acting on what we hear and giving thanks for this deep love you have for all of humanity.  Call us forth as disciples and witnesses of you and your compassion.

Michelle Corliss, osf