Friday of the Second week of Lent
The parable of the vine
The vine symbolizes us because the people of God, grafted into the stock of the eternal vine (Jn 15,5), shoots up above the earth. As the flourishing of an unyielding ground, the more the vine buds and flowers and the more greenery it produces, the more it resembles the desirable yoke of the cross when, full-grown, its outstretched branches form the shoots of a fruitful vineyard... With good reason, then, do we call the people of Christ a vine, whether because they mark their foreheads with the sign of the cross (Ez 9,4), or because their fruits are harvested in the last season of the year, or because, just as in the lines of a vineyard, poor and rich, lowly and mighty, servants and masters, all who are in the Church share a perfect equality...
When vines are tied up they stand upright; when they are pruned it is not to reduce them in size but to make them grow. So it is with this holy people: if bound, it is set free; if humbled, it stands tall; if cut down, it is actually given a crown. Better still: just as a sprout taken from an old tree is grafted onto another root, so this holy people..., nourished on the tree of the cross..., grows and spreads. And the Holy Spirit flows into our bodies as though poured out into the furrows of a field, cleansing all that is unclean and straightening our members to guide them heavenwards.
The Vinedresser is accustomed to weed this vine, to stake it and prune it (Jn 15,2)... Sometimes he heats the hidden places of our body with sunshine, sometimes he waters them with the rain. He delights to weed his land lest the weeds injure the buds; he takes care that the leaves don't make too much shade..., don't deprive our virtues of light or hinder the maturation of our fruit.