It produces much fruit    

Published August 10, 2021, 12:47 AM

by Manila Bulletin

REFLECTIONS TODAY

Jesus takes his parables from the workings of nature and the ordinary activities of men and women. In view of the mystery of his coming death, he sketches out the paradox of life through death using the image of the grain of wheat. When the farmer sows, the grain is “buried” in the ground; it “dies.” The parable focuses on the productivity of a grain of wheat: it bears much fruit if it is sown, but is barren if it remains just a seed.

The parable is an illustration of Jesus’ own fate. Before his passion and death, Jesus is limited to his earthly ministry. But after the resurrection, his life gains a cosmic dimension. The imagery also illustrates the life of Lawrence, deacon and martyr of Rome. Tertullian writes that the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity.

Pope Sixtus II ordained Lawrence as a deacon, and though Lawrence was still young, he appointed him first among the seven deacons who served in the patriarchal church. He was therefore called “archdeacon of Rome,” a position of great trust that included the care of the treasury and riches of the Church and the distribution of alms among the poor.

When the prefect of Rome demanded that Lawrence turn over the riches of the Church, he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the suffering, and said that these were the true treasures of the Church. This act of defiance led directly to his martyrdom. The prefect was so angry that he had a great gridiron prepared, with coals beneath it, and had Lawrence’s body placed on it. After the martyr had suffered the pain for a long time, he made his famous cheerful remark, “I’m well done. Turn me over!” From this derives his patronage of cooks, chefs, and comedians.

GOSPEL • JOHN 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples: “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. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

 
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