“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.” John 15:5

Once dormant, a fledgling grapevine is growing in a pot in my backyard. The warmer days of summer are coaxing the hidden shoots out of their hiding places and tender verdant leaves have appeared. The modest stalk was once part of a friend’s flourishing backyard vineyard. Each year, he prunes the branches and donates them to my Spring RCIA retreat during which I invite candidates to fashion a personal cross out of the vines as a reminder of their Christian journey. These cuttings appear primitive and quite dead but looks are deceiving. Out of death comes life, a teaching not lost on those of us who worship the Crucified One, the One who changed the fruit of the vine into His very blood and invited us to taste and see the goodness there. This holy consumption brings with it a new way of life with endless possibilities.