In Sunday’s gospel, Jesus continues with his extended metaphors, as he did last week when describing himself as the Good Shepherd. This week, he describes himself as a vine– “I am the vine, and you are the branches,” he tells the disciples. He details to the disciples the way that he and God (the vinedresser) lovingly tend to each of the branches– pruning and lifting and helping the branches bear more fruit– and assures the disciples that if they abide in him, they will surely be fruitful.