Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Wednesday 22 May 2019
Gospel: John 15:1-8
The Gospels of today and tomorrow present part of the reflection of Jesus around the parable of the vine. To understand the significance of this parable, it is important to carefully study the words used by Jesus. 
In the Old Testament the image of the vine indicated the people of Israel. The people were like a vine that God planted with great tenderness on the hills of Palestine. But the vine does not correspond to what God expected. Instead of producing good grapes, it produces sour fruit which is good for nothing. 
Jesus is the new vine, the true vine. In one phrase alone He gives us the comparison.  Pruning is painful but it is necessary. It purifies the vine, and thus it grows and bears more fruit. The disciples are already purified. They have already been pruned by the word that they heard from Jesus. God does the pruning in us through His word which comes to us from the Bible, from trials in our life, and from many other means. 
Jesus extends the parable and says, “I am the vine, you are the branches!” It is not a question of two different things: on one side the vine and on the other the branches. The vine does not exist without the branches. We are part of Jesus. Jesus is the whole. In order to produce fruit, the branch has to be united to the vine. It is only in this way that it can receive the sap. Our model is that which Jesus Himself lives in His relationship with the Father.