‘I am the Vine’

Friends in Christ, in the gospel today, Our Lord says ‘I am the vine and you are the branches.’ In speaking this way, Jesus is recalling a theme with which the Jewish people would have been very familiar: the vine.
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The Old Testament spoke often of Israel as ‘the vine.’ ‘I had planted thee a noble vine,’ says Jeremiah. ‘You have brought a vine out of Egypt,’ says David. The symbol on the coin made by the Maccabees was the vine. In the temple, above the door, was an enormous carved vine, with grapes the size of a man. The vine therefore, had become a symbol of Israel.
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Christ today, calls himself the vine. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches,’ and in this, he is revealing a mystery of the Church, because we know that the church is the New Israel.
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St. Paul calls the Church the Mystical Body, in which Christ is the head, and we are the other parts of the body, yet we are all one. Well Jesus gives this other image as well, in which he is the main vine, and we are the branches. It is an image that reveals to us, that Christ and his Church are one. That Jesus is really living here, now, in us and with us, not just metaphorically, but really.
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Our Lord will go on to say, ‘I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I in you.’ As Pope St. John Paul II would say, Our Lord shows us the communion of each Christian with Christ, and the communion of all Christians with one another.
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We should pray daily for Holy Mother Church; that she would be faithful to the Truth, and that this Vine of Christ will continue to spread over the whole earth.

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