Gospel Reflection for March 18, 2018, 5th Sunday of Lent
Sunday Readings: Jeremiah 31.31-34, Hebrews 5.7-9, John 12.20-33
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it will bear much fruit.” – John 12.24
The grain of wheat metaphor in John’s gospel uses the transforming process we call growth to help us understand all Jesus’ death and resurrection promises us. In the growth process, warmth and moisture swell a seed poked down in the soil until the life secreted within it bursts its hull. Actually, the seeds doesn’t fall into the earth and die but rather germinates. It swells with more life than the seed can hold. A new sprout pushes above ground into sunlight at the same time roots spread out underground in search of nourishment. With rain and sun, a grain of wheat grows a stalk that heads out with a hundredfold new seeds. The short life cycle of seeds dramatizes all that happens in the human life cycle, but the planting that we do in loving our children, teaching our students, being faithful in our relationships takes years to flourish.
The hour of Jesus’ death is a dynamic process, a passing over, a planting that will bear fruit hundredfold like the wheat. At the heart of Christian faith is Jesus’ life-giving resurrection from his self-giving death. Jesus challenges us to follow his self-giving way, to love and serve one another and in doing so lifting others up.
What seeds of hope are you planting with your life?