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Gospel Reflection for 5th Sunday of Easter, Year B, April 29th 2018
A priest whose first language wasn’t English used say ‘I am the wine’ in reading the gospel today. We smiled and tried to tell him the difference between ‘vine’ and ‘wine’. It’s an interesting difference because the vine becomes wine and in turn becomes the blood of eternal life in the Eucharist.
He uses the image of wine for the new covenant and for the New Testament. The water of the Old Testament was changed into the wine of the new. The cup of wine ‘he took and shared’ was his blood, his life’s energy given for us.
The wine, so beautiful in meaning, came from the simple grape on a vine. The ordinary and the extraordinary, the human and the divine, are intimately linked in Jesus himself and in the way he speaks for us. The Incarnation leads to the resurrection, all linked to the body. Everything human is a way to God for us.
Love mingles earth and heaven, for all love is of God. Our moods and feelings, desires and joys, sorrows and griefs, hurts and shame, all lead us to God. We mingle water and wine at Mass so that we know ‘we share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity’.
As vine and branches draw life from each other, we draw life from the body of Christ in the Eucharist so we can share his love among others and so bear much fruit. Maybe the mispronunciation was not completely in error!
Lord, may your kingdom come among us.
Donal Neary SJ
Fr Donal Neary SJ is the Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger Magazine