If it dies, it produces much fruit

Published August 10, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


The “hour” of Jesus’ impending death would also be the “hour” of his glorification; it is the ultimate manifestation of Jesus’ selfsacrificing love that would bear the fruit of redemption. For his life-giving death, Jesus uses the imagery of a single “seed” (his own body) buried on the ground from
which new life would spring up and bear abundant fruits in the Church, the worldwide community of believers. The Church was born from the Paschal mystery of Jesus—his death and resurrection. Likewise, the blood of martyrs waters the seed of the faith in Christ, or in the expression of Tertullian, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”

St. Lawrence stands out as one heroic example. At a young age, Pope Sixtus II appointed him as one
of the “archdeacons of Rome,” a service of trust to distribute the goods of the Church to the poor. However, the prefect of Rome under Emperor Valerian demanded Lawrence to turn over all the riches of
the Church. Lawrence sold the Church’s vessels and gave the money to widows and the sick. On the day
he was summoned for the treasure, Lawrence pointed to the crowds of poor, crippled, blind, and suffering
people and said, “These are the true treasures of the Church.” Lawrence was then turned over to his executioners. The true treasures of the Church are not in buildings or vessels, but in her suffering and vulnerable treasures who inherit the Kingdom of heaven.

Gospel • Jn 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 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-
9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected] ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.