The image of the vine in the Old Testament refers to the people of Israel, which has been selected from the chosen stock, planted, and cared for by God. The Lord waited for good grapes fit for wine, but instead it yielded wild grapes (cf Is 5:1-7) — because of Israel’s infidelity, running after pagan gods (cf Hos 14:9).
Jesus changes the image of the vine and refers it to Himself: “I am the true vine.” Jesus is the true “stock,” and the branches are the Christians, the “new people of God.” As long as the branches are attached to the vine — through faith, trust, and keeping His word — the sap of divine life continues to flow throughout the whole vine, then it will bear the fruit of the resurrection and eternal life. From time to time it needs “pruning” (i.e., sharing in the sufferings of Christ), so that the whole community living in accord with the Spirit will experience its fruit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5:22-23).
Gospel • JOHN 15:1-8
Jesus said to His disciples: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does He prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you. Remain in Me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you remain in Me andM words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become My disciples.”