2 May 2021
In today’s Gospel we hear another of the great “I Am’s” of Jesus. “I am the vine.” Jesus first mentions that He is the vine in John 15:1: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine grower.” There are a number of Old Testament references that speak of Israel being a vine, planted and tended by God. Yet instead of bearing good fruit, it withered from ignoring the life that God offered to them.
Against this background, Jesus speaks of Himself as the True vine, the One who gives witness unto the Father and bear good fruit to His Father’s approval and glory.
Now we can understand a bit more about this verse.Jesus is the vine, who is the true source of life forbelievers. We are thebranches connected to Him, drawing that life from Him; drawing from Him the necessary nutrients to survive, flourish and grow. Did He not state in today’s Gospel: “Without me, you can do nothing?”
At first glance, we may assume that all branches bear fruit, but in reality it’s really the vine that makes it all happen. The point is: that unless the branch is connected to the vine, it will not survive. Spiritually speaking, it is that connection which is needed; that while we strive to live in Christ, Christ is living in us.
But there is even more here in this short statement. When Jesus says that He is the vine, it is the last of the great “I AM’s, that He makes in the gospel of John.
The repeated use of “I am” brings to mind the name that God gave to Moses by which to call Him: “I am who I am” (Ex. 3:14). Jesus is stating that He is the vine from which all life comes from; that He is indeed was sent from God.
My dear brothers and sisters: We read in the Gospel of John 1:1-4a that every life in the created order came through Him: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life.”Just as all life came through Him and the new life of the Kingdom flows out of Him as well.
May we come to know of that life that gives us purpose and direction, for it is at this Easter season, that we are given as being one in Christ, eternal life.
Rev. Fr. Robert M. Koerber