Week of March 22, 2015

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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).

Below is a reflection I found entitled A Grain of Wheat.

Each of us is like a grain of wheat planted by God.

Just as a grain of wheat must die so as to produce a harvest,

so we must die to self in order to bear the fruits of love.

This dying to self is a gradual process

and happens in little ways.

Every act of humility involves dying to pride.

Every act of courage involves dying to cowardice.

Every act of kindness involves dying to selfishness.

Thus the false self dies, and the true self,

made in God’s image, is born and nurtured.

It is by giving that we receive;

it is by forgiving that we are forgiven;

it is by dying that we are born to eternal life.

There are many examples of people who are like the grain of wheat Jesus speaks of in today’s Gospel. One such example was Archbishop Oscar Romero. Romero’s core desire was to love and serve God through his priestly vocation. That never changed. What changed was his perspective. Becoming archbishop of San Salvador thrust him into a new reality and a new consciousness.

Like Jesus, Romero confronted tragic violence, brought to a white heat by the murder of the poor and their priests. That suffering irretrievably altered his perspective. He learned to listen to the cries of the victims in the light of the Gospel, then acting in the name of God. Then he came to the ultimate test of his faith: Did he believe in loving God’s poor and persecuted enough to risk everything? We know the answer. He spoke out and walked with his people. He was martyred as he celebrated the Eucharist.

The question for us is how we are that grain of wheat. What are we willing to die to so that we can bring life to others?

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