5th Sunday of Easter 'I am the True Vine'
Eastern Orthodox Mosaic of Christ as the Vine 16th century Byzantine & Christian Museum Athens
In John's Gospel today Christ tells us that he is the Vine shaped by his father and that we - all of us are the branches. In nature if a branch is dead it should be cut off and discarded. So to it is with our relationship with Christ - if we do not allow him into our lives we die, cut ourselves off. To grow vines or plants of any kind is about permanency and stability. We have to be around at all stages of the plant's life and if we nurture well then the harvest will be fruitful. Christ reminds us that if we remain with Him, His words remain in us and that whatever we ask we shall get.
When I looked at the first reading again this morning, the Gospel became clearer, for here it describes how after God had cut away the old (the bad bit of Saul, the slayer of Christians) he allowed a new branch to grow, with the help of Barnabus.
Joseph the Worker Friday 1st May
John Everett Millais 1849-50
Joseph the Worker, is shown working in his carpenter's workshop, making a door and helped by the family, but there are other things also going on. There is a nail sticking up in the door which the young Christ has just cut himself on - a reference to his Crucifixion. There are other symbols in this painting as well: a very young John the Baptist on the right carrying a bowl reminds of us of his future role as the Baptist. There is a reference to Jacob's Ladder, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity on the back wall and what of the sheep in the field?
4th Sunday of Easter
The Good Shepherd by Julia Stankova
This Sunday we are reminded in the 2nd reading, that
we are the children of God. In John's Gospel we hear
about the role of the Good Shepherd, as distinct from
the hired man. Christ explains his selfless and eternally
caring nature as the Good Shepherd.
The painting describes a warmth and gentleness in the
portrayal of the Good Shepherd, with feet planted firmly
on the earth. This shepherd is with us now.
Notice the IC XC either side of the head of Christ.
These Greek letters represent the words Jesus Christ
and are usually seen on icons.
Saint Mark Evangelist
The winged Lion - Symbol of St Mark
St Mark's Venice.
The book he balances with his paw reads: 'Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus', "Peace be with you Mark, My Evangelist."
We are in Year B, the year of Mark.
3rd Sunday of Easter
Supper at Emmaus by Caravaggio 1601
Since the Resurrection, Christ has been reminding us that he is alive and is with us. The Gospels have
been telling us of Christ appearing to the Apostles, in rooms, on the road and on each occasion He has to do something which jolts the Apostles into recognising the risen Christ among them.
Again Caravaggio captures the moment when the Apostles recognise who is among them.
St Anselm of Canterbury 21st April
by Stephen Cox 2006, Aosta Marble (region of Anslem's birth).
"Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe,
but I believe that I may understand. For this, too,
I believe, that, unless I first believe, I shall not understand."
Anselm was a 12th century philosopher and Archbishop of Canterbury
whose writings argued for the existence of God.
Divine Mercy Sunday (2nd Sunday of Easter)
by Caravaggio 1602
....Thomas replied 'My Lord and My God!' Jesus said to him 'You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe" (Gospel Jn 20: 19-31)
Caravaggio focuses our eyes on Thomas' finger in Christ's side, both with the trick of light and the four heads leading you to that point.
St Scholastica - sister of St Benedict
O Christ, the Light of heaven
May steadfast faith sustain us,
Blest Trinity we praise you
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is it not man's life on earth nothing more than pressed service, his time no better than hired drudgery? Like the slave, sighing for the shade, or the workman with no thought but his wages, months of delusion I have assigned to me, nothing for my own but nights of grief. Lying in bed I wonder, 'When will it be day?' Restlessly I fret till twilight falls. Swifter than a weaver's shuttle my days have passed, and vanished, leaving no hope behind. Remember that my life is but a breath, and that my eyes will never again see joy.
Job 7:1-4, 6-7