Blessed Sacrament Parish
Amherstview, Ontario

Saint Linus
Bath, Ontario

Saint Bartholomew
Amherst Island, Ontario
Homilies from Fr. Americo Santos

Homily: Fifth Sunday of Easter

April 28, 2024

On this fifth Sunday of Easter, the Church reminds us that Christ is the true vine, and we are His branches. As branches united to the faithful and holy Vine, Christ, we are expected to bear positive and good fruits for Him.

In today’s first reading, one remarkable aspect we see in Saint Paul is that after his radical conversion, his life changed completely. He was transformed from Saul, the persecutor, to Paul, the preacher of the good news. Paul bore abundant and lasting fruits for God through his preachings to the Gentiles and by doing charitable deeds for them.

In the Second reading, John reminds us that we have to love each other "not in word or speech, but in truth and action." John reminds us of the saying, "Actions speak louder than words." We cannot love God or keep His commandments without concrete works of charity and mercy for our brothers and sisters.

Today’s Gospel calls us to strengthen our relationship with Christ and continue living in Him. The type of relationship that should exist between us and Christ is compared to the relationship between a vine and its branches. No branch can have life or bear fruit unless firmly attached to a tree. In our spiritual life as Christians, we cannot live without Christ or produce good fruits for His glory and the benefit of people without being firmly attached to Him.

It is impossible to live without Christ, and being united to Him assures us that we are doing the right things. Living with Christ means having an active and positive life characterized by charity, peace, holiness, and love for all our neighbors.

Today, the Church allows us to reflect on how our spiritual journey is progressing at this year's stage. While we are still in the Easter season, let us reflect on how our relationship with Christ, the true Vine, is in these days. Are we still united to Him? Have we borne any good fruit for Him in the last days?

Bearing fruits for Christ is expressed in growing spiritually and affecting others positively. We cannot be with Christ for years and still suffer from spiritual inactivity or indifference. That is not possible. If we are with Him, there must be progress in our relationship with Him without question.

This Sunday, all of us are invited to rediscover the presence of Christ in us and enjoy His company and guidance every day. We are fortunate to be members of The Church of God, members of a new covenant sealed with the blood of Christ. In thanksgiving for the opportunity of being members of the Church, let us say together with the psalmist confidently: "Lord, from you comes my praise in the great congregation."

Peace be with you.