Today’s Gospel has a very mystical tone to it. The reality that Christ
is describing – the oneness of the Christian with Christ, the Christian
living in Christ – is a mystical reality, which we can neither fully
describe nor explain. Christ has revealed to us the fact of our
mystical oneness with him. And with this metaphor, he tries to give us
some insights into what that oneness involves.
In a wondrous manner, while maintaining his individuality and his
personal identity, the Christian remains one with Christ, as the branch
is one with the vine; the Christian lives in Christ, has his being in
Christ, as the branch lives and has its being in the vine. When the
branch produces fruit, it is the vine that is fruitful. So also when
the Christian acts, by some mysterious alchemy of divine Providence, it
is, in reality, Christ who is acting. And as the branch cannot bear
fruit if it is not in the vine, the Christian can bear no fruit unless
he is in Christ.
But these are all merely empty words. We should not approach a reality
of the life of the Christian in Christ, by way of intellect and reason.
We are reminded to go to prayer in the hope that doing so, God will
give us the grace to intuitively comprehend this mystery.