5th Sunday of Easter – Beginning the Month of Mary

This weekend, had the Masses been in-person, we would have had Deacon Terry sharing his Homily. We invite you instead to read his words in the PDF below, followed by Fr. Charlie’s message on the Fifth Sunday of Easter.

Acts 9:26-31 

1 John 3:18-24 

John 15:1-8 

Traditionally, May is a month dedicated to Mary, Our Blessed Mother – the  month ends with the Feast of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth. While  we often refer to Mary as “mother”, she is also a “disciple” of the Lord, the most  perfect one! As disciple, she grew into this, pondering and reflecting on what the  “Christ” event was truly about. 

The Acts of the Apostles present to us today people growing in sainthood,  growing in discipleship. As Paul visits the church in Jerusalem. He is looked upon  with suspicion and doubt – not unusual as he was a recent convert to the faith.  Barnabos is presented here as his sponsor or guarantor – they will be together as  missionaries sent out by the Jerusalem Church. In this, we see the intervention of  the Holy Spirit, which motivates human meditation which is consistent with the  experience of the Church. Some level of submission to the Church is part of  discernment. 

Essential to being a disciple of the Lord is “pruning” – a certain purification  of one’s motives, often involving a good dose of humility. The Old Testament  people as the chosen time had to be open to it as do we. 

The words “remain in me as I remain in you” reminds us how the word of the  Lord turns the vine. Let’s continue to be open to that word by which we grow in  fidelity to the Lord.  

Cyril of Alexandria tells us… 

Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ, and  we cling to his holy commandment in order to preserve this life.