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, NAB)
Every year I buy seed packets. Some I manage to get planted. Others remain in the drawer or cabinet. Funny thing about those seeds, even though I have the best of intentions, those seeds in the deep dark recesses of the drawer, never grow, never bear fruit. Those pretty flowers and yummy vegetables shown on the front of the package never see reality or achieve their full potential.
As I sat in Ash Wednesday service, we sang the hymn Unless a Grain of Wheat by Bernadette Farrell. The opening line is similar to this verse spoken by Jesus and recorded by John. It struck me that we followers of God are like the grain of wheat, like the seeds in the drawer. If we don’t fall to the ground and die to ourselves we can never be what God wants us to be, plans for us to be.
I remember taking a trip to Yellowstone Park several years ago. It wasn’t long after the devastating forest fires swept through destroying much of the forest.
Recently I took a trip to Mt. St. Helens and saw the destruction caused by the erupting volcano.
Two points have stuck with me from those visits. First, in spite of the death and destruction there was new life, rebirth. A new beauty that would not have been revealed if not for those incidents.
Second, buried beneath the original beauty were seeds that if not for the fire or volcano would have never grown. The fire and volcano served as the catalyst necessary to bring these seeds new life.
The season of Lent provides us with the opportunity to prepare ourselves, to be that seed that falls to the ground, that is buried deep in our hearts waiting for the catalyst. Sacrifice, prayer, contemplation of God and His Word provide our catalyst. Then on Easter Sunday we can bear the fruit of the Resurrection of Jesus and a new us is revealed.
Question to ponder:
This Lent what seeds can I take from the drawer and what catalyst can I use to join Jesus at the empty tomb?
Can I use this catalyst to help someone else on their journey with Christ?
During this season of Lent I hope to travel this journey with you, to be the catalyst that brings you and me out of the drawer and into God’s glorious light. Seven talented writers through the grace of God have agreed to share this journey with us. Each week one of us will post their Lenten story on this blog along with their own. CatholicMom.com, TributeBooks.com and Catholic Writers Guild will also share the journey. We all hope and pray that you will share your own stories with us and be part of this great adventure.
Please join Sarah Reinhard, Elizabeth Weidner, Joe Wetterling, Margaret Realy, Jennifer Fitz, Karina Fabian, Steven Lumbert and myself as we make this Lenten journey to Golgotha and beyond.
If we have died with him we shall also live with him (2 Timothy 2:11, NAB)