3-14-21 Reflection

First Reading: 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23
Second Reading: Ephesians 2:4-10
Gospel: John 3:14-21

…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. (Jn12:24)

What is Jesus referring too? First let’s think about what happens when a seed is planted in the ground. The seed becomes the source of nourishment for the new plant…and eventually disappears as the roots and the plant form. The plant forms, producing many more seeds than the one it started from… 

     Jesus is the grain of wheat. He suffered, died, was buried and rose from the dead, which produced eternal life for each one of us! Through grace, we share in that divine life.  

     We too must be like that grain of wheat Jesus spoke about. Unless we die to our own will, we can’t bear fruit for God. We do not lose our will. Rather our will must be of one accord with the Will of God. We must be willing to let go of our lives and place them in God’s hands. Jesus’ obedience, spoken of in the Letter to the Hebrews provides us the model. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. We also look to Mary, the Mother of God…her constant “yes” to God, given her entire life…Mary had to be in perfect accord with God’s will in order to give her “yes” at the Annunciation, at the foot of the cross, accepting the death of her Son, Jesus…everyday of her life!   

     At the end of our life, Jesus will say – show me your fruits! What will we show Jesus? The fruit of forgiveness, both forgiveness of ourselves and granting forgiveness to all who hurt us…the fruit of sacrifice, for family, for others…the fruit of service, sharing our time and gifts with others. These are the fruits that Jesus will look for…not the fruits of accumulation of wealth, possessions, status, position, accomplishments, success, power, pleasure, athletic fitness or anything else that the world pushes us towards! Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us this Lent!
Deacon Mike