Fifth Week of Easter

First Scripture Reading
Acts 15: 1-6
Gospel Reading
John 15: 1-8

Opening Prayer

Great Gardener and Owner of the Vineyard, thank you for caring for us since we were seedlings. Thank you for planting us in your vineyard. As you came among us and planted yourself in the garden of our human experience, you grafted us unto a new life. We are now branches of your vine, stretching out throughout the world. We live in and feed from your divine energy and nurturing presence flowing through us. Prune what does not grow in us. Hoe and fertilize what needs new spurts of growth. Just as your earliest followers struggled with the radical newness of your message and fidelity to the ancient traditions and laws, so we also struggle this day. Your people struggle, not with issues of circumcision, and kosher, but with how to be faithful to tradition and ancient laws, and still be faithful to your Spirit moving us forward to your day of full blossom. Help us not to imprison ourselves or each other in the past. Fertilize us with trust. Smile on us and help us to smile amid the tensions, dyings and risings that are your paschal mystery happening within us. Heal the hurts of your Body, your growing vine.

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