JESUS SPEAKS TO THE DISCIPLES:
Have patience, my grapes, it is I who will bear you to term. At first you did not seem much more than tiny acrid skins, hanging underexposed in the shade of the leaves – a scared little crew. You did not yet believe in me, and you worriedly conjectured how you would nourish yourselves with the scarce rain and deprived of the sun. And you did not know that all power wells up from within, from me. Without me you can do nothing. I do not say little, I say nothing. But whoever remains in me and I remain in him, he is the one who brings in much fruit. I myself bring forth fruit in him, and he is the fruit. It is just in this that my Father is glorified: that you bring in much fruit.
Whoever believes in me, whoever eats and drinks me, has life in himself, eternal life, already here and now, and I will raise him up on the last day. Do you grasp this mystery? You live, work, suffer; and yet, it is not you: it is another who lives, works, and suffers in you. You are the ripening fruit, but what brings the ripening about, what ripens: it is I who am that. I am the power, the fullness, that sheds itself into your emptiness, filling it up. But by filling, the fullness fulfills itself in the emptiness, and thus you are also my fullness.
My grace is always fruitful,
and my gift is for you to pass my grace on.
JESUS SPEAKS TO THE FATHER:
Thus do I blossom before you, Father, and for you I bear the world’s vine-branches. You recognize the life that flows in my boughs: it is your own life with me. What flows down into me vertically from you, my Source, this I have spread far and wide horizontally over the earth’s expanse. And what was our eternal life, shared by both of us horizontally, up above in the circle of eternity, this have I brought down vertically to the very depths of the earth.
--Hans Urs van Balthasar,
Heart of the World,
chapter 4, The Father’s Vineyard
Image source: Icon of Christ the True Vine, late 20th century, Dormition Convent