Fifth Sunday of Easter – April 28, 2024

Post Date: April 24, 2024
Author: Ric Cross

A Reflection on the Readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, April 28, 2024

Reading 1: Acts 9:26-31
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 22:26-27, 28, 30, 31-32
Reading 2: 1 Jn 3:18-24
Alleluia: Jn 15:4a, 5b
Gospel:Jn 15:1-8

Chapter 9 of St. Luke’s “The Acts of the Apostles” tells us about the conversion of St. Paul, which continues the overall theme of “Acts” concerning the development of the church in the first century. Luke presents the early church to us as the bearer of the word of salvation, always guided by the Holy Spirit. It is interesting to note the early church was known as “The Way,” a designation the early community gave itself.

At this point in the narrative, Paul is still known by his Hebrew name, Saul; it is not until 13:9 that he is referred to by his Greek name, Paul. With his conversion, Saul / Paul turns from being an outspoken opponent and persecutor of the church to an outspoken proponent and defender of the church. So, the persecutor becomes an apostle and joins the community he once persecuted and debates against the Hellenists (Greek-speaking Jews), those who originally joined him in the persecution and who tried to kill him because of his conversion. Paul’s refusal to impose Mosaic Law upon his Gentile converts was the source of friction between himself and the Jewish Christians of Jerusalem.

Saul’s conversion from persecutor to apostle to the Gentiles clearly indicates that God was acting in the early church through the Holy Spirit. Saul’s conversion is seen as the call of a prophet. His conversion was initiated by a blinding light from heaven and the voice of Jesus calling to him (9:3-5). Such an experience is referred to as a “theophany,” a very profound experience of the presence of God. Compare Saul’s experience in chapter 9 to the call of Isaiah in chapter 6 of Isaiah or the call of Moses in chapter 3 of Exodus. Once again, I draw your attention to the power of the Holy Spirit that made Saul’s conversion possible.

We are also told in our first reading that because of the cessation of Paul’s persecution of The Way, the church was at peace and grew in numbers “with the consolation of the Holy Spirit.”

Our Responsorial Psalm also carries on the theme of the development of the church with: “I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.”

Our second reading from the 1st Letter of St. John is often referred to as a love letter because of the emphasis placed on Christian love – love for one’s neighbor and the love God has for his people. The entire message of 1st John can be summed up as: believe in Christ, follow his commandments, and love your neighbor. Doing so assures us that we abide in God and God in us; that assurance comes “from the Spirit that he gave us.”

St. John also reminds us that we are to love in deed and in truth. In other words, we are not to simply espouse our faith. We are to live it through our deeds of Christian charity. But we are also to believe in our faith as the TRUTH. And that truth is what Christ taught the apostles and handed on to us through the scriptures and teachings of the church throughout the church’s history. That truth is unequivocal; it is not true at some times and fails to be true at others.

Our gospel passage is from chapter 15 of the Gospel of John, entitled: “The Vine and the Branches.” The Old Testament often depicts Israel as a vine planted and preserved by God (see Psalm 80). Here, Jesus refers to himself as the vine and the apostles as the branches. As Christians, we assume the mantel of apostleship and the responsibility to “bear much fruit.” That is, of course, not possible if we do not remain on the vine, firmly rooted in the teachings of Christ passed on to us through the teachings and sacraments of the church and nourished by the Holy Spirit. By remaining on the vine and, therefore, by remaining in the truth of the gospel, we will be pruned (enlightened) by the Holy Spirit to bear more and more fruit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal 5:22-23). Failing to bear these fruits means we will be cut off from the vine and burned in the fire.

Jesus promised to send the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, upon his church in his name and that the Spirit would teach the church everything and lead the church to all truth (Jn 14:15 ff). That is the assurance we have in the truth of Christ’s teaching and the assurance that the truth is passed on to us faithfully by the Holy Spirit through the church.

Graphic: LPi

Recent Posts

6th Sunday of Easter – May 5, 2024

6th Sunday of Easter – May 5, 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for the 6th Sunday of Easter, May 5, 2024 Reading 1: Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-48 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 98:1, 2-3, 3-4 Reading 2: 1 Jn 4:7-10 Gospel: Jn 15:9-17 As mentioned previously, it is in the season of Easter that our readings each...

Monica’s Praise Report 4-23-24

Monica’s Praise Report 4-23-24

Praise You God! You are Holy, Mighty, Merciful, All Knowing, Ever Present, for You are God! You know our comings and our goings, our joy and our sorrow. You know every hair on our heads, for we were wonderfully and fearfully made by You, our Creator. Thank You Lord...

Fourth Sunday of Lent, April 21, 2024

Fourth Sunday of Lent, April 21, 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, April 21, 2024 Reading 1: Acts 4:8-12 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29 Reading 2: 1 Jn 3:1-2 Alleluia: Jn 10:1 Gospel: Jn 10:11-18 This Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is also known...

Divine Mercy Sunday 2024

Divine Mercy Sunday 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for the Second Sunday of Easter, April 7, 2024 (Divine Mercy Sunday) Reading 1: Acts 4:32-35 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24 Reading 2: 1 Jn 5:1-6 Gospel: Jn 20:19-31 The first thing we should notice about our readings for...

Palm Sunday 2024

Palm Sunday 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for Palm Sunday, March 24, 2024 https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/032424.cfm Palm Sunday celebration begins with a processional gospel proclamation of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem from the Gospel of Mark, with an optional proclamation...

Monica’s Praise Report 3-22-24

Monica’s Praise Report 3-22-24

Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever! Praise be His Holy and Venerable Name! Praise Him, who was, is, and is to come. Praise Him in the morning; praise Him in the noontime. Praise Him when the sun goes down! Thank You, Lord, for all thy benefits. Thank You for the...

Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 10, 2024

Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 10, 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 10, 2024 Reading 1: 2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23 Responsorial Psalm: Ps 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6 Reading 2: Eph 2:4-10 Gospel: Jn 3:14-21 We don’t often have Sunday readings from the Books of Chronicles because...

Repent and Believe

Repent and Believe

A Reflection on the Readings for the First Sunday of Lent, February 18, 2024 Reading 1: Gn 9:8-15 Responsorial Psalm:  Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 Reading 2: 1 Pt 3:18-22 If you read the introduction to the Book of Genesis in the New American Bible, you will see that the...

Reflection – February 4, 2024

Reflection – February 4, 2024

A Reflection on the Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 4, 2024 READING: 1 JB 7:1-4, 6-7 RESPONSORIAL PSALM: PS 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6 READING 2: 1 COR 9:16-19, 22-23 GOSPEL: MK 1:29-39 The introduction to the Book of Job in the New American Bible...

Monica’s Praise Report 1-23-24

Monica’s Praise Report 1-23-24

Has God ever used your annoying dog to teach you about your guardian angel? He did that for me recently, and I can’t wait to share it. Every week, the same yard man in the same truck using the same equipment comes. Every week, it is the same, yet my genius dog after...

Local Angels

(Our Sponsors)

For more information on how to showcase your business and sponsor this site, please send us an email.

Sergio's Landscaping  Logo
Authentic Brain Solutions Logo
Steve Eggert, Financial Advisor Logo
H-Wheel & Tire Logo