Gospel Reflection for 5th Sunday of Easter
The Old Testament prophets often used the metaphor of the vine to portray God’s chosen people, Israel. Most of their words concerning the vine of Israel express disappointment because the chosen people failed so often to follow the ways of the Covenant. Although they were given God’s loving care and every gift, they failed to produce good fruit but instead produced the “rotten grapes” of injustice and unfaithfulness. [Isaiah 5:1-7] Jesus knew the writings of the prophets and used this metaphor himself. We hear him say in today’s Gospel, “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. [John 15:1-2]
We can hear a clear warning in this teaching. Just as the prophets of the Old Testament warned the people that they had been chosen to bear good fruit for the Lord, Jesus tells us clearly that we have been joined to him so that we may produce a good harvest, that is works of justice, mercy, and faithfulness. He also teaches earnestly that we must remain attached to him as the vine, or we cannot bear fruit, nor can we survive spiritually. We cannot produce this good fruit on our own but only from the Life that flows into us through his Spirit.
Jesus also speaks of our being “pruned” by his word. This makes the metaphor even more effective. When a branch on a grape vine has too many sprouts and leaves, the nutrients and moisture are dissipated and do not support the formation of the clusters of fruit. If our lives are filled with pursuits and desires that do not lead to the essential goal of holiness, we will not hear the word the Lord speaks to us or follow in his way. Inordinate desires for power, prestige, pleasure, and possessions will choke off spiritual growth.
The spiritual nourishment we receive from prayer and the Sacraments is essential for us to thrive and flourish in the Lord. So, we are greatly blessed to have access to the source of Grace in the Church. This makes it possible for us to let go of those things in our lives that dissipate his Grace so sin and selfishness will not dominate us. Then, we have many opportunities to bear good fruit.
Works of charity, done in the Lord, are good fruit. Acts of kindness and forgiveness, made possible because he has forgiven us, are good fruit for the Lord. Witnessing and sharing the faith with gentleness and kindness so that others may know the Lord are indeed the good fruit of his Grace. Modesty, chastity, forbearance, and self-control are the signs of our belonging to God alone and that our lives are filled with the fruits of his Holy Spirit.
Because we remain in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true vine, we will rejoice to produce good fruit for him. Because his word remains in us, we may ask for every good and it will be done for us.
Sincerely in Christ,
If you cannot join us for the Sunday liturgies, please know that we will be praying for you.
We encourage everyone to participate in the Masses offered online and on TV
Remember to pray for Spiritual Communion.
TO OUR BLESSED MOTHER
During the month of May please join us in offering prayer intentions or thanksgiving notes to our Blessed Mother. Following each Mass, parishioners will be invited to write down their prayer intentions and offer them to Our Lady along with notes of thanksgiving for her motherly love and intercession. The notes will be placed in a sealed box which will remain on our Blessed Mother’s altar in the church throughout the month of May. As children of Mary, let us approach Our Lady’s mantle of mercy and tenderness in unity as we offer her our hopes, our sorrows and our joy.
On Mother’s Day (May 9) there will be a May Crowning of the Blessed Mother in the Mary Garden immediately after the 9:30 am Mass. Bring the children! Bring a flower from home to Our Lady.
Social Concerns Committee
Drive-by Food Drive
Sunday, May 2
10 am to 12 Noon
On Sunday, May 2
, the Social Concerns Committee will be conducting a "drive by" food collection for Montgomery County parish food pantries.
Parishioners can drop off their food donations directly into vans, which will be parked in the lot behind the school, from 10 am to 12 Noon.
Members of the Committee will be in front of the school entrance to help direct parishioners to the drop off location.
Not sure what to bring? Most needed items in order of need:
Most needed: Oil, Rice, Cannes Tuna/Chicken/Salmon
Second Biggest Need: Canned corn/mixed vegetables
Third Biggest Need: Diced Tomatoes, Cereal/Oatmeal, Pasta, Pasta Sauce
We also have had an urgent request for diapers and baby wipes.
Due to continued restrictions, there will be no clothing donations accepted at this time. Parishioners may want to consider donating clothing directly to A Wider Circle (
) or Interfaith Works (
). Each of these organizations has information on their websites about whether they are currently taking clothing donations and, if so, how to drop them off.
In addition, on Sunday, May 2
, the Poor Box will be for the Lenten Food Drive. Monetary donations can be made in lieu of food. Please make out checks to
Holy Cross Church
on the memo line. These donations will be used to purchase grocery store gift cards for perishable food items. Donations can be mailed to the rectory or dropped through the mail slot at the rectory.
You may also donate by credit card via Faith Direct without enrolling in Faith Direct. Visit our website:
. Click on
Social Concerns – Food Drive
Your donations will be greatly appreciated during this time of continuing need.
Social Concerns Committee
SUNDAY MASS ADDITION.
An indoor Mass at
has been added to the Sunday schedule. It will be live-streamed.
*Outdoor option for 9:30 am Mass on Sundays
Fr. Robert will celebrate this Mass on the steps of the Church if weather permits. If it does not, he will move inside. You may come inside (Covid restrictions continue). Alternatively, you may remain outside in your car with engine off. Speakers will broadcast Mass (weather permitting). You are welcome to bring your blankets and chairs and sit on the grass. Eucharistic Ministers will distribute Communion outdoors. Ushers will take up a collection. To make a contactless, one-time donation to Holy Cross, visit the parish website (
) and click on “One-Time Donation.” The link will take you to a Faith Direct option where you can use your credit card and you do not have to enroll.
QR Code that links for Holy Cross YouTube page:
QR Code for the Holy Cross Church’s website:
This week's Poor Box will benefit our
SOCIAL CONCERNS COMMITTEE.
Please make out checks to “Holy Cross Church” with
on the memo line. These donations will be used to purchase grocery store gift cards for perishable food items. Donations can be mailed to the rectory or dropped through the mail slot at the rectory. Next week’s Poor Box will go to
MASS INTENTIONS FOR THE WEEK
- May 3 (M), 8:30 am
Rudolf and Gilbert, nephews of Fr. Mathias
- May 4 (T), 8:30 am
Ethel Mimnaugh Numrich and in Thanksgiving
- May 5 (W),
- May 6 (Th),
- May 7 (F),
- May 8 (Sat), 8:30 am
Rita Kratz and Rose Masucci
- May 8 (Sat), 5:00 pm
- May 9 (Sun), 9:30 am
Those being remembered in our Mothers Day Novena
- May 9 (Sun), 12 Noon
To schedule a Mass intention, email
or call the office at 301-942-1020.
is still underway.
reach our goal.
Please keep the sick and elderly of our parish in your prayers, especially
Melinda Alde, Evelyn Articola, Marion Ballmann, Teresa Basso, Jerry Behnke, Albena Borisnova-Petkova,
Michael Chettle, Joyce Choi, Tom Choi, Young Choi, Luis Alejandro Guevara Coello, Dorothy Conroy, Ray Dean, Barbara Desiderati, David Dikel, John Paul Durkin, Karen Dwyer, Joe Gagnon, Kathleen Gagnon, Demos Georganas, Myriam Gonzalez, Michael Gouzoulis, Susan Grisby, Eileen Haggart, Betty Harrison, Rudy Heglas, Carlos Hernandez, Evan Hilburn, Stephanie, Hipsley, Charlene Hubbard, Bo Hunt, Dan Johnson, Doris Johnson, Jamie Kaufmann, Mary Lee Leonard, Mary Dell Levandosky, Ray Mitchell, Palmer Jane McNeill, Markie Mlynarczyk, Richard Moellering, Jr., Nelson de Melo Dias Neto, Ellen Noland, Estelle Nguyen, William Nothwang, Sue Numrich, Silvia Pugliese, Dan Reinwall, Jessica Ringler, David Roberts, Alma Rusley, Nancy Rupertus, Rebecca Shepherd, Patricia Spodnik, David Skola, Patricia Tellish, and Philip Wright.
Please contact the Parish Secretary to add or remove someone’s name from our list.
Remember in Prayer
those who have died, especially parishioners, Vivian Sierer, Humberto Causilla, and Gloria Ford.
Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen
Ways for you to continue your support of Holy Cross.
Donate by credit card
via Faith Direct -
Visit our website:
. Click on
You may make a donation without enrolling in Faith Direct or,
if you are enrolled in Faith Direct, you can choose to not log in.
Enroll in e
or call 866-507-8757 (toll-free)
to use your bank account or credit card for recurring donations.
Use your bank's bill p
your contribution in the mail slot in the Rectory office door
Mail your offering
to Holy Cross Church, PO Box 249, Garrett Park, MD 20896
Mary Anne Gadbois
on Saturday, May 1 at 10:55AM