Study Page, 5th Sunday of Easter

Acts 9:26-31 - 1 John 3:18-24 - John 15:1-8

Overview of the Gospel:

  • The setting for this Sunday’s Gospel is just after the Last Supper discourse in the upper room (John 13:1—14:31). It is speculated that, after leaving the upper room, this part of Jesus’ discourse may have been delivered at the Temple gates (where there was an elaborate engraving of grapes and vines), or in the vineyard near the Kidron Valley, on the way to the Mount of Olives, where the Garden of Gethsemane was located.
  • In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel is often spoken of as a vine or a vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:9-17; Jer 2:21, 5:10-11; Ez 15:2-8, 17:5-10; 19:10-14; Hosea 10:1, etc.), as did Jesus (Mt 21:33-46).
  • This Gospel reading, however, is much more personal than previous uses of this figure since Jesus speaks of himself as the vine and we, his members, as the branches. St. Paul also uses a similar idea in his description of the true Israel as the body of Christ (Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 3:9, 12:12-26; Eph 4:15-16). Thus our spiritual survival is dependent upon our connection to him—and to one another.
  • Jesus is talking about two kinds of branches with a different kind of pruning for each. Those branches that are not bearing fruit are to be cut off all together, as they are useless and only serve to draw nourishment away from the fruitful branches. The fruitful branches are also pruned, but it is because they are already productive and pruning makes then even more so.

Additional Study Resources:

The Vine and the Branches : 5th Sunday of Easter -

Homily by Fr. Robert Barron of Word on Fire Catholic   Ministries Catholic Ministries.

Video Reflections -

Bible Study - fromSt. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church

Bearing Much Fruit  - by Marcellino D'Ambrosio of Crossroads Initiative

On the Vine -
Sunday Bible Reflection from Dr. Scott Hahn of
Click Here

Food for the Journey - Audio reflection by Sr. Ann Shields ofClick Here

Bear Fruit - Our Love is not to be just words or mere talk - by Fr. Tommy Lane, Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture in Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, Emmitsburg, Maryland

“He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit” -
a reflection by Don Schwager

Connection - Word Sunday: A Lectionary Resource for Catholics

Catholic Matters

One Bread, One Body

Bearing Fruit for Christ’s Kingdom (John 15:1-8) - Catholic Spiritual Direction

Kid's Gospel Pages from
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Loyola Press Sunday Connection for families

  • If the fruitful vine branches were human lives, what kinds of things are being pruned away? What pain would be associated with pruning? What tools? What spiritual fruit?
  • Jesus repeats “remain in me”, “love” and “bear fruit”. How are these words related? What is the “fruit that will remain” (verse 16)?
  • How do verses 9 and 12 tie together? How is love the essential dynamic of the Christian life (1 Cor 13)? How does your relationship with Jesus change once you start practicing his example of love?
  • What is the link between obedience and prayer (verses 7 and 16. See also John 14:13-14)?
  • As a branch on Christ’s vine, how would you describe the fruit in your life: Grade A-1? Juicy? Green? Wormy? Why?
  • Specifically, how would you rate yourself on laying down your life for your friends (verse 13)?