St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Acts 15:1-6 + John 15:1-8
May 2, 2018
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.”
The powerful metaphor that Jesus proclaims today—the Vinegrower, the Vine, and the branches with their fruit—is, like so many of the passages from John proclaimed by the Church during the Easter Season, a powerful exposition of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son. Within this relationship we see our own place, as members of the Mystical Body of Christ.
John’s account of the Gospel is the most mystical and sublime of the four Gospel accounts, and is therefore also the most difficult to reach into and meditate upon. Today’s metaphor opens a window into the sacred Teaching of the Beloved Disciple.
Begin with a simple question: What is God the Father like as a Vinegrower? This is a very simple, earthly and earthy image. If you know anyone who is a gardener (or even more specifically, a vintner), you can picture some of the qualities that this image evokes. The tenderness, patience, perseverance, and dedication that flow from this image teach us about the Love of the Father for His Son, and for us who are members of His Son’s Body.