Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Easter…April 28, 2024

by Sr Cynthia Hruby ND


“Almighty ever-living God, constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us, that those you were pleased to make new in Holy Baptism may, under your protective care, bear much fruit and come to the joys of life eternal. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.”

Which word captures the meaning of “accomplish” for you?  A list from Oxford Language:  fulfill, achieve, succeed in, realize, attain, manage, bring about, bring off, carry out, carry off, carry through, execute, conduct, effect, fix, engineer, perform, do, perpetrate, discharge, complete, finish, consummate, conclude, effectuate.


Led by the Spirit, Barnabas, a Cypriot Jew, took Saul, a Roman Jew of Tarsus, under “protective care.” The disciples feared Saul; they did not accept his conversion. Saul/Paul gave his witness, was believed, and was assigned a mission to Tarsus. The church experienced peace and “with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers.”


Saint John instructs believers to love in “deed and truth.” This requires knowing our hearts, especially “whatever our hearts condemn.” Condemn?  A harsh word!  Maybe “condemn” initially means a heart-level warning since we are “under [the Spirit’s] protective care.” The Paschal Mystery (Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Glorious Ascension) of Jesus is “within us.” How?  Through the Spirit that he gave us! With confidence we live knowing that he remains in us. Such a mystery!  This gift of faith is the source of power to listen and discern how to live the call to love one another in “deed and truth.”

GOSPEL OF JOHN 15: 4a, 5b

John’s first letter teaches that “if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence in God and receive from him whatever we ask….”  In his Gospel, John has the same message in words he attributes to Jesus, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you.” Jesus wants us to ask because in this way his Father is glorified by disciples that live his word. Through the image of the vine and the branches, everything is included: pruning to encourage growth, withered separated branches are thrown into a fire, connected branches grow on the vine, bloom and bear fruit.  Remaining in Jesus and following the guidance of the Spirit is key.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word I spoke to you.
Remain in me as I remain in you.”