Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Weed out sin, selfishness to bear good fruit
Based on the Gospel of John 2:30-33
Spring is here. Nature is beginning to waken from its dark winter sleep. The hours of daylight are longer. We look for new life “springing” up outside – trees budding and becoming leafy, shrubs turning green and flowery and flowers poking through the earth and blooming with color. We hear birds chirping and see squirrels scampering. We eagerly welcome more sunshine and warmer weather.
People will be working on their gardens and lawns. It will take a lot of hard work – besides good soil, seeds, fertilizer, water, sun, weeding and tools to dig, cut and prune – to grow strong, healthy grass, plants and trees.
At the same time, we continue our reverent Lenten journey and look forward to the joy of Jesus’ glorious Resurrection on Easter.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus says, “The time has come for me to be glorified. Just as a grain of wheat must be buried in the earth, die and then rise to life as a tall, strong sheaf of wheat to produce many grains, so the Son of God must die so that many can live.”
While Jesus was troubled because he knew before long Judas would betray him and his suffering and death on the cross were approaching, he prayed to God the Father for courage and strength.
As he had done many times, Jesus used a familiar object from nature to explain his teaching. He wanted his disciples – and he wants us – to understand that like the seed, his death was necessary if we all were to be given new life.
Like a wise gardener, God is always planting seeds in our hearts. We are called to “weed out” sin and selfishness in our lives in order to have these seeds break open and bear fruit by growing spiritually and by sharing Jesus’ love with others.
We are called not to be mere bystanders but to be Jesus’ disciples. Discipleship requires dedication, devotion, and commitment to self-sacrifice, self-giving and
service – despite any difficulties or hardship in our lives – because Jesus has promised to be with us always and to help us through such times.