487 views | Rev Dr. Vitalis Anaehobi | March 21, 2021
1. Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”
Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life(Jn 12:20-25). Taken from today’s Sunday gospel.
2. Jesus is a master in reading the signs of the time. He saw in the request of the greeks to see him a sign that his time has come to embrace the cross for the salvation of the world. It was a sign he has been waiting for, a time when the non Jewish people would see in him the salvation of God. Having come to the appointed time he had to explain his mission in a clearer terms. He compared his death to sowing of a grain of wheat for the purpose of growing it for a rich harvest whereby a single grain grows and matures into a bunch of hundreds of grains. That is positive enough and an encouragement for all who fight for a difficult but worthy cause. There are times in life when the only possible positive way forward is to embrace suffering. For Jesus such necessary suffering must be taken as sowing of seed.
3. In a world where suffering is avoided at all cost, where religion has become a refuge of those who run from necessary hardship of life, where some men of God have turned themselves into guarantors for a better life and protectors from misfortunes, which in all truth are beyond their control, it is good to hear Jesus’ teaching on suffering as seed sowing. Today, seed sowing in some Churches has come to mean bribing God to permit one to harvest where one has not sown. It has come to mean a replacement for hard work, a short cut to success without merit. Thus to pass an exam or get a job, favor or position that one has not qualified for, people are encouraged to sow monetary seed. Jesus has debunked this great lie: sufferings must be accepted if they are necessary condition for success and if they are promisery of great fruits, for unless a grain of wheat falls and dies it remains a single grain but if it dies it bears abundant fruit.
4. Jesus linked dying as a grain to losing one’s life in order to gain it back. We all know that a grain that is sown changes it state from being a grain to being a seedling and then a plant. As a plant it loses all the qualities of a grain but it is better than a grain because it will bring forth many fruits. The people who refuse the transforming experience that comes through accepting necessary discomfort in life will eventually discover their silliness when they see the fruit borne by others who persevere in doing things the right way. The is the authentic seed sowing.
5. In as much as it is a religious duty to support the Church and the work of God, and in as much as God rewards every generous offering made to him for the progress of his kingdom on earth, people should not lose the sense of Jesus’ encouragement of his followers to accept necessary sufferings as a way of a grain dying to bring forth rich fruits. Jesus is clear that he who loves his life will lose it. Love for one’s life is often manifested in seeking unmerited advantages and comfort. In doing this people set aside the commandments of God to satisfy their personal desires. Jesus warns that a life saved in this way will finally be lost when the harvest time comes around.
6. You may not be a stranger to the way many people live today when it comes to doing things the right way in order to get the best result. Many people like doing things the easier way and still expect to get the same result as the one who follows the correct process. Do not be like them. Imbibe the wise advice of Jesus: unless a grain of wheat falls and dies it remains only a single grain. Accept to die by being rightous in all your dealings with people and with God. In this way you will be falling and dying gradually to yourself and your other life will be growing and maturing into a fruit bearing plant that will live forever in God.
@Vita, Sunday 21/03/21.