Friends, the Lord Jesus Christ is not a teacher from a distant age, not someone from long ago we remember fondly, not a moral exemplar; rather, he is a field of force. We don’t just listen to him or imitate him; we live in him. Our Gospel for this Fifth Sunday of Easter gives us one of the most beautiful and powerful images for this truth: Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches. But there is a dark side to this wonderful organic imagery: the Father is the vine grower, and he is going to prune away all that is in us that is preventing the life of Christ from manifesting itself.

Mass Readings