I wish you the Peace and Joy of the Risen Christ
Fr Tom Lavin
If you would like to contact Fr Tom directly please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01206) 576898
for general administrative matters please continue to use email@example.com
5th Sunday of Easter
SEEING YOUR LIFE THROUGH THE LENS OF THE GOSPELS
1. In a relationship, connectedness is important. Relationships cannot be taken for granted and need time and care to be life-giving. What does your experience tell you of the truth of this in your relationships with God? With your friends? With your family? With communities or groups to which you belong?
2. In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis wrote: ‘I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ.’ He goes on to suggest that when individuals, or groups, focus on Jesus there is an increase of energy and vitality. Have you seen this happen?
3. The parable also reminds us that we are not the source of our own life. It is a gift from God, from our parents, and from all who have nourished us. Give thanks for those who have been a source of life for you.
4. God is glorified by our being fruitful. When has human fruitfulness reminded you of God at work in our world?
John Byrne osa
MUSINGS: Why Pope Francis is happy …
Question from a young boy during an interview between Pope Francis and young people in 2014: Everyone is this world is trying to be happy. But we have wondered are you happy? If so, why?
Response from Pope Francis: Absolutely, absolutely, I am happy. And I am happy because … I don’t know why … Perhaps because I have a job, I’m not unemployed, I have a job, a job as a shepherd! I am happy because I found my path in life and travelling that path makes me happy. And it is also a peaceful happiness, because at that age it is not the same happiness as a young person feels, there’s a difference. A certain inner peace, a happiness that also comes with age. And also with a path that has always had problems; even now there are problems, but that happiness doesn’t go away with the problems, no: it sees the problems, suffers them and goes on; it does something to resolve them and goes on. But in the depths of the heart there is that peace and that happiness. It is a grace of God, for me, really. It is a grace.
Interview with young people, 31 March 2014
THE DEEP END: Stay connected …
As with all good vine growers, God cares for his crop, nurturing it, pruning it, giving it all it needs so that it can grow and reach its full potential. We are no doubt the branches. What does it mean to be a branch? Branches must be connected to the vine or they bear no fruit. Even those branches that do bear fruit need pruning so that they can grow and bear even more fruit. As we are all too well aware, productivity seems to be the measure of success in the world today, in our education system, in the workplace, in economics; we are measured by what we produce. Is Jesus really adding to the pressure by telling us that he wants to see results or else!?
Perhaps we can read this passage in terms of connectivity. Think of your most intimate friendships and relationships. You don’t measure their weight in terms of productivity, do you? But you do want to stay connected right? It is this closeness, this intimacy that Jesus calls us to: ‘abide in me’. Are you connected or disconnected? If the connection is strong, then fruit-bearing comes naturally and people will see the gospel in our lives and in the way we respond to the world. If we are connected, all manner of things are possible for us.
‘People see the gospel in our lives; let them read our lives.’