Fifth Sunday after Easter – Year B

John 15:1-8
15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower.

15:2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.

15:3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you.

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Hope is the Way

John 14 reveals Jesus’ masterful ability to hold loss and hope together. As he comforts His disciples and calls them forward, he shares profound truths with them and speaks about what lies ahead.

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The Invitation

“You have to cut back the branches.” I ordered my student gardener one afternoon. We were standing in the kitchen of the youth centre I direct and she had just finished giving me the overview of our urban gardens. Some of the tomatoes and peppers weren’t producing fruit. The raspberries were having trouble in certain sections of the bushes. The squash had mildew on a few of its leaves.

I repeated my words: “Cut. It. Back. Prune, yank, trim and remove.”

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The Sacrament of Hospitality

As fearful and terrorizing as it may be, the transfiguration causes me to long for a glimpse of the illuminated face of Christ and especially the body we have esteemed as most unlovable and unlikable. I pray that in meeting with such a vision, I will not be derailed, busying myself with building tabernacles, places where I can limit and control God’s uncontrollable light.

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Two Letters

How are we to live our everyday lives in light of the Risen one? What difference does it make? What changes? What is new? Two letters. That’s it. In all the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples, its my favorite. It’s a small word, but it is everything

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The Queen of 8th Street

With a quick glance at Taina’s bushy hair, one knew they had entered a wholly unique experience. As other students sat awkwardly on secondhand office chairs, Taina perched herself high against the opposition, sitting like an 8th Street Queen, atop one of the secondhand computer desks. The African, the Arawak, and the Taino all met at the center of Taina’s cute, baby-like face. But one should be warned that her charm and her bushy ponytail belied her true nature as a warrior queen. Taina was determined to stay one step ahead of a system determined to vanquish all within her realm and to hold them under the grip of common ghetto oppression.

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Seeing the New Jerusalem

The poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said, “That only which we have within, can we see without.” If we see hope, love and beauty “out there” it’s because we have those…

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Make Yourselves At Home

The more closely we examine Jesus’s words in John 15 – among the last words he would speak before his death – the more it seems an awkward mix of metaphors. On the one hand, he uses as the key verb “abide,” which sounds to our ears almost transcendental, serene, relinquished. Something that could happen most comfortably on a couch.

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Way, Truth, Life

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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