May 2, 2021
5th Sunday of Easter
«I am the vine, you are the branches». The revelation of Jesus includes in itself the true identity of the disciples. God’s name is our new name.
Acts 9: 26-31; Ps 21 (22); 1 Jn 3: 18-24; Jn 15: 1-8
John’s Gospel returns to reveal the identity of Jesus to us through the typical language of “I am”. However, there is a significant novelty: this is the only passage in which Jesus’ revelation includes his disciples. «I am the vine, you are the branches». The I am is the name of God revealed to Moses near the bush. Even then God had bound him to that of men: I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob. One cannot name God without saying the names of the men with whom he makes a covenant. He is not a solitary, distant, absent God, but he is a God of relationship, to the point that the relationship he establishes with man becomes constitutive of his own name. Jesus too binds his identity to ours in an inseparable way: I am the vine, you are the branches. God’s name becomes our name – “we are” – because the love of the Risen One flows in our veins as well as the sap of the vine in the branches. he Acts, Barnabas reveals that he is a good branch that bears the expected fruit. He is capable of overcoming the distrust of the Jerusalem community, which is reluctant to welcome Saul, the persecutor. It is he who introduced him into the community, so that Saul “could be with them” (Acts 9:28). If we are grafted onto Christ, we can witness a love that overcomes distances, mistrust, enmity. Indeed, God “is greater than our heart and he knows everything”, announces 1 John. He knows us and re-knows us in his communion with him.
Commentary by Comunità di Dumenza
Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey