Today’s Gospel challenges the depth of our relationship to Christ, who calls himself the vine and us, the branches. The immediacy of this relationship was palpable among the early Christians. But what is it for us? We’ve been invited into something far deeper and more intimate than our relationship to our own family or someone we love. How comfortable are we with this invitation?
- Lord Jesus, you call us to be branches on the vine that is you: Lord, have mercy.
- Christ Jesus, you call us to remain in this deep relationship: Christ, have mercy.
- Lord Jesus, you have promised that we will bear much fruit: Lord, have mercy.
- Acts 9:26-31 Saul preached boldly in Jerusalem
- Ps 22 I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people
- 1 Jn 3:18-24 Loving and believing in Christ is to keep his commandments
- Jn 15:1-8 “I am the vine, you are the branches.”
Prayer of the Faithful
Presider Let us pray for all who long for deep and lasting relationships.
Minister For all Christians that we may be willing to risk a deeper relationship with Christ and with one another ... we pray,
- For people throughout the world who are victims of religious extremism or who fear those who believe or practice differently ... we pray,
- For those who resist a deep relationship with Christ, who fear what it may require of them ... we pray,
- For pastors and teachers, catechist and theologians, mystics and prayer leaders, who are dedicated to enhancing our relationship to Christ ... we pray,
- For the life-giving connection we have with Jesus, the true vine; that we may be nourished by this deep and vital relationship ... we pray,
- For hearts and minds open to knowing Christ in this community; and for all among us who need the healing of this relationship, especially the sick, the dying and all who suffer ... we pray,
Presider God, who reaches out to us in so many ways, we are called again to live in and remain in a deep relationship with your Son, the true vine. Strengthen our desire to respond to his invitation, despite its demands. We pray in the name of the One who calls us to bear fruit. Amen.