On Being True Vine


The parable of the True Vine is one of my favorites in all of scripture.  I had no particular connection with it growing up, but then re-discovered it around the age of thirty in my training as a catechist in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd movement and have turned it over in my heart ever since.  I sign up to preach on it almost every year during the Easter season and have given probably 30 talks on the passage.  What’s different about meditating on it anew during 2021? 

I think maybe the discovery that the “you” throughout the parable is, in the original Greek, plural.  More of a “y’all.”  And after a year of sitting and marinating in private contemplation of the Word (which has worked perfectly fine for me as an introvert), I’m starting to miss the “y’all.”  I find myself thinking more about what it means to be Church again and how to get more involved.  Not from a distance—transporting myself digitally to Masses all over the country—but in a real, live community with all its quirks and particularities. 

I end this year’s preaching on the True Vine with three questions I’m wrestling this Spring 2021.  If you choose to reflect on them, too, with me, I’d love to know what you come up with.  (If the link doesn’t work, click on preaching for May 2, 2021.)

Two more tidbits:

  • I’ll be doing a Facebook Live session on #Rules_of_Engagement with the team at US Catholic next Thursday, May 6 at 1 p.m. CT  / 2 p.m. ET.  If you have some free time in the middle of the day, please join in.  Click here for more information.
  • I have a new favorite icon of the True Vine written by Joan Bennett, fashioned especially with children and catechists in mind.  It sits right on my desk now and I love looking at it every day. You might like it also.