Daily Readings Audio | Daily Meditation | April 26, 2021 – May 2, 2021

285

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Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter

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Peter is confronted by his fellow Apostles for eating in the house of Gentiles, and so he tells them of the vision he had, and the Spirit’s instruction for him to accompany some men to that house. There the Holy Spirit came upon the household and the Gentiles were baptized and saved. In the Gospel, Jesus says he is the gate for the sheep, and all who enter through him will be saved.

All who come through Jesus will be saved. Jesus, in the Gospel today, Jesus calls himself the gate. In his name, the disciples were empowered to bring all sheep to the sheepfold, Jews and Gentiles alike. For the Good Shepherd came for all. Let us pray for the Church may grow in holiness and grace through the work of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lectionary: 279

Reading I

The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea
heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem
the circumcised believers confronted him, saying,
‘You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them.”
Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying,
“I was at prayer in the city of Joppa
when in a trance I had a vision,
something resembling a large sheet coming down,
lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me.
Looking intently into it,
I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth,
the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky.
I also heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.’
But I said, ‘Certainly not, sir,
because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
But a second time a voice from heaven answered,
‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’
This happened three times,
and then everything was drawn up again into the sky.
Just then three men appeared at the house where we were,
who had been sent to me from Caesarea.
The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating.
These six brothers also went with me,
and we entered the man’s house.
He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying,
‘Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter,
who will speak words to you
by which you and all your household will be saved.’
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them
as it had upon us at the beginning,
and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said,
‘John baptized with water
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us
when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I to be able to hinder God?”
When they heard this,
they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying,
“God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.”

Responsorial Psalm

R. (see 3a) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

 

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Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 280

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In the first reading, disciples who scatter due to persecution go as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch. They preach to both Jews and Greeks and many people turned to Christ. For the first time, they are referred to as Christians. In the Gospel, the Jews ask Jesus to tell them plainly if he is the Christ. Jesus says he already told them and they didn’t believe him. Those who are [his] sheep, however, hear his voice and follow him.

The Good News of the early Church could not be contained. The community of disciples in Jerusalem was scattered. Persecution of the Church was occurring. Yet the Gospel could not be contained. God used the problem of the scattered flock to his glory, as geographically and numerically the fledgling Church of Christ grew. Despite all the competing voices surrounding them, many heard the voice of the Lord. Our loving Father looks out for those who follow his Son. Amen.

Reading I

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm

R.    (117:1a)  All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R.    All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
“This man was born there.”
And of Zion they shall say:
“One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD.”
R.    All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
“This man was born there.”
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
“My home is within you.”
R.    All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”

 

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Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 281

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Opt. Mem. Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr;
Saint Louis Grignion de Montfort, Priest

In the first reading, Barnabas, Saul, and John [also known as Mark] return to Jerusalem. Barnabas and Saul are chosen by the Spirit to proclaim the word of God in Cyprus. In the Gospel, Jesus cries out that whoever believes in him believes in his Father. He comes not to condemn the world but to save [it].your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus is a light leading the way to the father and eternal life. Jesus comes into the world as light from the Father so that we might not remain in darkness, but would know the Father and have eternal life. For the Father sent Jesus, and Jesus himself is the Word of God, living among us and speaking what the Father has commanded him to say: that eternal life is ours if we hear and observe his words. Let us pray for those struggling with difficult decisions and the burdens of circumstance, may God give them the grace and strength to endure and overcome. Amen.

Reading I

The word of God continued to spread and grow.

After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission,
they returned to Jerusalem,
taking with them John, who is called Mark.

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them.”
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit,
went down to Seleucia
and from there sailed to Cyprus.
When they arrived in Salamis,
they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.

Responsorial Psalm

R.    (4)  O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R.    O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R.    O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R.    Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R.    O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus cried out and said,
“Whoever believes in me believes not only in me
but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”

 

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Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 282

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Opt Mem. Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

In the first reading from Acts, Paul speaks in the synagogue in Antioch and tells the story of God’s relationship with the chosen people leading up to the arrival of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus has just finished washing his disciples’ feet. He tells them, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.

Let us serve Christ by serving others. Jesus tells the disciples that when they go out to preach in his name, whoever receives them will receive him, and thus the One who sent him. We, too, are called to service in Jesus’ name. With God’s grace, and with our hearts open more fully to the Gospel, we can continue his mission on earth and work to build his Kingdom. Let us pray for all who are gathered here, may Christ in the Eucharist continue to transform us for his work in the world. Amen.

Reading I

From Paphos, Paul and his companions
set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia.
But John left them and returned to Jerusalem.
They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia.
On the sabbath they entered into the synagogue and took their seats.
After the reading of the law and the prophets,
the synagogue officials sent word to them,
“My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation
for the people, please speak.”

So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said,
“Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen.
The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors
and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt.
With uplifted arm he led them out,
and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert.
When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan,
he gave them their land as an inheritance
at the end of about four hundred and fifty years.
After these things he provided judges up to Samuel the prophet.
Then they asked for a king.
God gave them Saul, son of Kish,
a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
Then he removed him and raised up David as their king;
of him he testified,
 I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.

From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’“

Responsorial Psalm

R.    (2)  For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’”
R.    For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead,
you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

 

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Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 283

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Opt. Mem. Saint Pius V, Pope

Saint Paul teaches in the synagogue in Antioch, telling the people that their leaders failed to recognize the word of salvation that God had sent, going so far as to kill him. But God raised him from the dead and this is the good news Paul is now proclaiming to them. In the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples, Do not let your hearts be troubled … I am the way and the truth and the life.

In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. Jesus tells his disciples that he is going to prepare a place for them in heaven. His teachings reveal the way we are to live in order to share eternal life with him. Let us walk each day in his way of love, for he is the way, the truth and the life. Amen.

Reading I

When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
“My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
    You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”

Responsorial Psalm

R.    (7bc)  You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
“I myself have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
this day I have begotten you.”
R.    You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
“Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall rule them with an iron rod;
you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.”
R.    You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
And now, O kings, give heed;
take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice.
R.    You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
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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Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 284

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Opt. memorial Saint Joseph the Worker

Paul and Barnabas scold the Jews for rejecting the Gospel, and announce they are turning to the Gentiles. The Gentiles are delighted and they glorify the word of God, while the Jews persecute and expel the two Apostles. In the Gospel, Jesus says to Philip, Whoever has seen me has seen the Father, and whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

God reveals himself to us in ways we sometimes do not recognize. Today’s Scriptures reveal once again that human sin, or simply human weakness and faults, can get in the way of our truly seeing the divine. The Jews, set in their ways, did not want to believe in Jesus; and Philip didn’t understand that the Father had been revealing himself to those around him through Jesus. It takes eyes of faith and humility to recognize the ways that God may be revealing himself to us. Let us  pray for our Holy Mother Church, and for the needs of all her children. Amen.

Reading I

On the following sabbath
almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.”

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm

R.    (3cd)  All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R.    All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R.    All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R.    All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to Jesus,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

 

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Fifth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary: 53

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Barnabas helps Saul enter into the community of the disciples by reporting on Saul’s vision of the Lord and his bold proclamation in Jesus’ name. The First Letter of John instructs the community on love of neighbor, and on keeping the commandments as proof of belief in Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus says, / am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. Those who remain in him will bear fruit and their needs will be met. Through this the Father is glorified.

Following Jesus asks much of us but offers the eternal love of the Father in return. To truly stay united to Jesus, we need grounding in two essential elements. First, by taking on the mind of Christ and adhering to what the Church proclaims. Second, by living in accord with the moral teaching of the Church. Following Jesus asks much of us but offers us the eternal love of the Father in return. Amen.

Reading I

When Saul arrived in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples,
but they were all afraid of him,
not believing that he was a disciple.
Then Barnabas took charge of him and brought him to the apostles,
and he reported to them how he had seen the Lord,
and that he had spoken to him,
and how in Damascus he had spoken out boldly in the name of Jesus.
He moved about freely with them in Jerusalem,
and spoke out boldly in the name of the Lord.
He also spoke and debated with the Hellenists,
but they tried to kill him.
And when the brothers learned of this,
they took him down to Caesarea
and sent him on his way to Tarsus.

The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace.
It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers.

Responsorial Psalm

R. (26a) I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will fulfill my vows before those who fear the LORD.
The lowly shall eat their fill;
they who seek the LORD shall praise him:
“May your hearts live forever!”
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the LORD;
all the families of the nations
shall bow down before him.
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
To him alone shall bow down
all who sleep in the earth;
before him shall bend
all who go down into the dust.
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.
And to him my soul shall live;
my descendants shall serve him.
Let the coming generation be told of the LORD
that they may proclaim to a people yet to be born
the justice he has shown.
R. I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading II

Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.

Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God
and receive from him whatever we ask,
because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
And his commandment is this:
we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,
and love one another just as he commanded us.
Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them,
and the way we know that he remains in us
is from the Spirit he gave us.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord.
Whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”