FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER - A FRUITFUL VINE OR A DEAD BRANCH?
In today’s Gospel parable of the True Vine, Jesus gives us a vineyard image that people of the Holy Land would have been very familiar with. Knowing this, Jesus urges us to remain connected to him, for it is only by this personal connection with our Lord that we can be fruitful in the vineyard of God. Grapevines need pruning frequently to maximize their crop of luscious juicy grapes. What needs pruning in our life? Are there portions of our life that are not producing good fruit?
This parable invites us to evaluate our religious practices, our moral decisions, and our relationships with others. With Christ being the “true vine” and we are hopefully his fruitful branches, plus his Father being the vine grower, we have a lot to think about. The best part of this image is the reality that we are directly connected to Christ in a life giving way, and that God the Father tends to us and helps us to grow more fruitful. This means that we have no reason to be a dead or unproductive branch.
ANNUAL CATHOLIC APPEAL – PLEDGE WEEKEND #3
This weekend after our Masses is the last chance for you to easily make your annual pledge to the ACA. It is of vital importance for every St. Louis Catholic do their part to support the pastoral work of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Your generous pledge will help the ACA reach its goal of $14 million. You can make a one-time gift or make a pledge with payments monthly or quarterly. Just fill out your personal pledge card with the volunteers in the back of church, or send your pledge card back to the parish in the mail.
The Annual Catholic Appeal gifts that St. Louis Catholics make are all used in the Archdiocese to support Catholic schools, Catholic social outreach, and all the forty plus agencies and programs that make up the pastoral life of the Archdiocese. Please pray for the success of the ACA!
THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY:
+ May is the month traditionally dedicated to our Blessed Mother, Mary. This would be a great time to renew our praying of the Rosary, which will bring us closer to the Blessed Virgin and help us reflect more deeply on the mysteries of the life, death, and resurrection of her divine son, Jesus. Our parish patron, St. Bernadette was always very devout in praying the Rosary as Mary was appearing to her at the grotto in Lourdes. Let’s follow her good example this month.
+ Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is the Mexican American day of festivity as they remember and celebrate their Mexican culture and history. Besides having a taco or a margarita, perhaps we should reflect on the difficulties and crisis happening along our long border with Mexico. Thousands of migrants from Central America are seeking asylum and opportunity in our country, as our own ancestors did years ago. The numbers coming to the border are greater than what the system can handle at the moment. We should say a prayer for these desperate individuals and families with children who are a looking for a new start and new home. We pray that they will be treated fairly and with dignity, and that our nation will enable them to become valuable and contributing members of our society.
+ Mother’s Day is next weekend (May 9th). Plan to come to Mass with the whole family, as we focus on and pray for our beloved mothers, with some special prayers and blessings.