FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

PRIEST:    We celebrate the wonder of our unity with Jesus and our unity with each other in Jesus: for we make up the Vine that He is.  It is the Church’s calling to be of one stock with Christ, branches of the Risen Lord reaching out in fruitfulness to all the earth. If our love for one another and for our and God’s world is not just mere talk, if we remain in and true to His Word, then we shall indeed bear fruit in plenty for the world to taste of God through us. If the Vine that is the Church is to bear the full weight of God’s fruitfulness,  we must enrich the unity of the Church, value our relationship together and allow ourselves to be lovingly and carefully pruned – such is the mercy and forgiveness of God.

READER:                 For preferring comfortable self-illusions
                                     to the sometimes painful Word of truth pruning us
and setting us free

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY…

For hiding from the mercy and forgiveness of God
that will prune us into wholeness, humanity and holiness

                                                          CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

For hurting the unity of the Christian community
by our jealousies and resentments,
our narrow minds and closed hearts

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:        May the endless mercy of God make its home within us;
                          may the Word of Christ prune us with forgiveness;
                          may the Spirit heal us into the strong unity of the Divine Vine;
                          so that we might all bear the fruit of everlasting life

                                                            AMEN!

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