Bear Much Fruit Means Die with Christ

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Formation, Reflections

Jesus loves others to the end, to being lifted up on the cross. His death proves true that the grain of wheat that dies cannot but bear much fruit. Those who die with him bear much fruit also. 

Most of us, if not all, want to bear much fruit, to succeed as best as we can, to fulfill ourselves, no matter if we believe in Christ or not.

But for us who believe in Christ, self-realization means, oddly, self-neglect. For he says that for the grain of wheat to bear much fruit, it must die first.

And such a law of sowing and reaping applies to us humans:  those who love their life lose it; those who hate their life in this world get to keep it forever. In other words, those who focus their concern wholly on themselves, their interests, their gains, end up empty, weary, not happy. Those, on the other hand, who go out of themselves, gladly spend, are spent to help others, find bliss.

Jesus is the grain that falls to the ground and dies, and hence, gets to bear much fruit; he shows us how to die, so we may live. 

He dies, yes, so he may draw and save all. And he draws and saves all due to his love for us humans to the end.

Although to face death, his “hour,” troubles him, he accepts it still. No, he does not seek suffering and death for himself or others. After all, he is about easing suffering, healing the sick, welcoming those on the outskirts, fighting against injustice, sin, despair.  Nor do conflicts, oppositions and death threats make him turn back.

These, of course, come with doing good (SV.EN I:75). Yet they do not stop him from announcing, by works and by works, the Good News to the poor. He does not come down from the cross, as those who torture him ask that he does. They are just after power and wealth. So in due time, death becomes their shepherd.

The Self-Emptying and Self-Giving One who dies out of utter love for us, in turn, rises to life and glory.

And the sooner we follow him, the sooner we can be where he is and draw others to him. The sooner, too, we live what we recall at the Eucharist, the sooner we draw others to ourselves, to Christ’s Church. To his Body.

Lord Jesus, we live through your death; grant that we die through the strength of your life in us (SV.EN I:276). Hide us in yourself and fill us with yourself, so we may live, die and get to bear much fruit like you.

17 March 2024
Fifth Sunday of Lent (B)
Jer 31, 31-34; Heb 5, 7-9 2, 4-10; Jn 12, 20-33