Lent Week 5 2021: The Grain of Wheat

My loving Lord, 
it’s so hard to love the world sometimes 
and to love it the way Jesus did seems impossible. 
Help me to be inspired by his love and 
guided by his example.

Most of all, I want to accept that I can’t do it alone, 
and that trying is an arrogance of self-centeredness. 

I need you, dear God, to give me support in this journey. 
Show me how to unlock my heart 
so that I am less selfish.

Let me be less fearful of the pain and darkness 
that will be transformed by you into Easter joy.

Psalm 136

A pure heart create for me, O God.

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
 In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.

A pure heart create for me, O God.

A pure heart create for me, O God,
 put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.

A pure heart create for me, O God.

Give me again the joy of your help;
with a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.

A pure heart create for me, O God.


Gospel John 12:20-33

Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks.
These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus.’ Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus. Jesus replied to them: 

‘Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

I tell you, most solemnly, it remains only a single grain; 
but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it; anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life.

If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.

Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say:
Father, save me from this hour?
But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.

Father, glorify your name!’
A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’
People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder; others said, ‘It was an angel speaking to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.

‘Now sentence is being passed on this world; now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.
And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men to myself.’

By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die.

Fr Kevin's Reflection

Today’s gospel selection seems at first glance to be a number of Golden sayings of Jesus that appear without a common team. My initial impression was that Jesus, aware of his impending passion and death was speaking randomly and it was the memory of this agony that is evoked here. At a deeper level however there appears a thread of unity binding these utterances. It focuses on that grain of wheat that he weaves into a brief parable that knits his thoughts together. What happens within that grain symbol, he shares with us.

John the evangelist presents the end of Jesus ministry within the framework of a week that begins six days before Passover. There were some Greeks among those who had come up to worship at the feast. They came to Phillip who spoke Greek and asked him, sir, we would like to see Jesus. These Greeks were sympathetic to Judaism but fell short of integration. They wanted to see Jesus.

The perfect model of the believer is the disciple who haven’t entered the empty tomb on Easter day, ‘saw and believed’. The request of these God-fearing Greeks is one of fate. Asking Phillip to see Jesus suggests that access to faith is gradual. To see Jesus, one must be led to him by an Apostle. Nothing is said about how Jesus received their request and what became of them. The narrative comes to an abrupt end.

The Greek’s access to Jesus is connected to the ‘hour’ of Jesus and reveals that that hour has now come. The hour that Jesus recalls so often in the gospel of John is that of the glorification of the ‘Son of man’. It is the hour of his Passover, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension, for which Jesus had come, for which he longs, though fearing it. It is the hour when Jesus will draw all humanity to himself. Then at that hour, everyone will see Jesus lifted up on the cross and looking upon him, obtain eternal Salvation.

Then comes a little parable. The grain of wheat fallen to earth designates Jesus, who by his death becomes the standard tree from which everyone can receive the fruit of life. From the death of one is gained the Salvation of a multitude. The same image can be taken to mean the tree of the cross on which the Lord was lifted up and which gives fruit in abundance to feed all people. It is from the light of the cross, planted at the center of the earth that Jesus draws all people to himself. It is at this hour that Jesus becomes King of the universe. In order to share in the glorification of Christ, disciples must follow Jesus by showing a determination similar to his, must go to the point of losing their lives, in this world, to preserve it for the eternal life.

Jesus does not hesitate; he does not want his Father to deliver him from this hour since it is for this hour that he has come. He simply says ‘Father, glorify your name’. His passion glorifies the father because of forcefully reveals the power of his love that saves the whole of humanity. Grain of wheat falling into the earth He has risen tree of life, laden with fruit, lifted up on the cross he is forever the sign and source of Salvation, for all those who look to him with faith and follow him into the glory God reserves for them. He is the head of the people of the New and eternal covenant in his blood poured out for all as atonement for the sins of all

Fr. Kevin

Prayer of St Anslem

O my God, teach my heart where and how to seek You,
where and how to find You.
You are my God and You are my all and I have never seen You.
You have made me and remade me,
You have bestowed on me all the good things I possess,
Still I do not know You.
I have not yet done that for which I was made.
Teach me to seek You.
I cannot seek You unless You teach me
or find You unless You show Yourself to me.
Let me seek You in my desire,
let me desire You in my seeking.
Let me find You by loving You,
let me love You when I find You.


The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.