Weekly Bulletin w/b 2nd May: Fifth Sunday of Easter
Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Readings at Mass
1st Reading. Acts 8: 26 – end
The Good News begins to spread outwards from Jerusalem to all nations and peoples. In the baptism of the Ethiopian by the apostle Philip, Luke shows that God’s redeeming love is for the whole world; through baptism we share in the death and resurrection of Jesus and become part of the Body of Christ, the Church, which knows no boundaries of race or nation.
“Luke plants this story at the heart of the moment when the gospel is starting to out into the wider world, to make it abundantly clear that wherever you go, whatever culture you come to, whatever situation of human need, sin, exclusion or oppression you may find, the message of Jesus is there to meet that need.” (N T Wright)
2nd Reading. 1 John 4: 7 – end
Here John is reflecting on Christ’s commandment of love. Active charity, love and compassion is what distinguishes true Christians from those who are such in name only. This is what makes them fruitful branches of Christ the True Vine.
Gospel. St John 15: 1 – 8
Jesus uses the image of a vine and its branches to illustrate how close are the ties that bind him to his disciples and the unity and communion that exists between him and us. The vine cannot bear fruit without the branches; the branches can have no life if separated from the vine.
Jesus tells us he IS the Vine. All life flows from him and through him and then through us, the branches, to bear fruit, just as the sap runs through the vine, through the branches to produce grapes. The fruit is the life we are called to give to others. But it is not just we who give life, nor is it just Jesus, it is we and Jesus. Jesus in us and us in Jesus. It is the joy of the Father that we give life to others – through our prayers, our gestures, our words, giving the gift of ourselves. The glory of human beings is to communicate life, pouring the oils of compassion on suffering people.
Jesus the Vine, calls us to abide in him. To abide and dwell in Jesus is to make our home in him and to let Jesus make his home in us. We feel at home in him and with him. It is a place of rest for one another and presence to one another. It is a place of mutual indwelling and friendship. It is a source of life and creativity. Abiding in him, we bear fruit, we give life to others. We live a mutual indwelling. This indwelling, this abiding, is friendship. (Drawn into the mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John)
Our love, prayers and good wishes to Brenda Whitlock, who celebrated her 90th Birthday on 26th April.
St Gabriel’s is open for Mass each Sunday at 9.30 am. Please contact Keith Rogers – tel 578097 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to attend.
Mass at 10 am each Wednesday will resume on Wednesday 5th May. Please let Keith know if you wish to attend.
Requiem mass for Audrey Mackintosh on Thursday 6th May at 4.30pm when Audrey will be received into church. If you wish to attend this please contact Keith – tel 578097.
PLEASE REMEMBER – it is important to let Keith know in advance if you wish to be at Mass. Under the social distancing regulations there is a strict limit on the number of worshippers who are allowed in the building and we are quite often approaching that number.
Any news or items you want included in our bulletin please send to Paul Reynolds.