By Sister Mary Core, OSB
Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. (John 12:24)
I don’t much like the idea of dying, in any way, but then, neither do I want to remain the same – to stagnate.
I like the notion of growing and becoming a better me, but l’d rather do it without the cost of “dying to myself.”
I suspect I’m not alone in those feelings.
But how can we really grow spiritually without dying – or letting go of self and letting God direct our lives?
Jesus makes it quite clear that he means what he says above.
“Amen, Amen” could be translated as a confirmation: “So be it, so be it!”
Yes, Jesus is saying, the only way we can become what we are meant to be, is by letting go.
Only when we are willing to give ourselves away, in service to others, will we produce the kind of fruits that others can use for their own growth.
Only when we, as they say, “let go and let God” will our lives be rooted in the right soil, and receive the rain and sun (grace) needed to blossom and bear much fruit.
Lent is a time for dying to old ways and giving birth to new ways. A time for producing fresh fruit.
So this week, let’s look at those things that we need to let die: hurts, anger, timidity, self-righteousness, judging others.
Then, our hearts will have room for growing the fruit of love, compassion, understanding, empathy, and golly, who knows what else!
So, join me daily this week praying and giving some soul-searching time to the words of John 12:24.
Questions for reflection…
What needs to die in you this Lent?
How can you make this Lenten season a time of new growth, new life … springtime?
What seeds do you need to plant in yourself? Allow God to plant? Allow others to plant?
Are there weeds, dead plants, in your life that need to be uprooted and thrown away?
What soil needs to be broken up and made ready for something new in you?
What, Who, are the sun, rain, soil, that help the “seed of you” to break open and mature?
What kind of soil do you let yourself be planted in?
What has this passage called you to do, be, change, in your life?
Next Monday I’ll focus on another passage. Until then, be a grain of wheat!