Living through the pandemic has felt like ‘life on hold’ for many of us. For many of us, living through the pandemic has prompted us to rethink how we should be spending our lives. How best should we spend the time we have left? In a life or death situation, human nature would always prompt us to hold on to life no matter what the consequences, but in today’s gospel a grain of wheat is used to teach us a valuable lesson. The selfless grain of wheat falls and dies to enable a fresh harvest. What point is there in choosing life, if that life boils down to nothing more than self preservation? On the other hand, what great value death, if that sacrifice gives others life. Many of us fail to understand why Jesus perceived the necessity of going to Jerusalem where he knew he would die. Wouldn’t it have made more sense for him to bypass Jerusalem and carry on teaching into his dotage? Jesus however, isn’t about to compromise his purpose.
Jesus determines to give his life so others can find true life. This is what Christianity is all about. Jesus teaches us that we must ‘die to self’ before we can be of any use to God. Letting one’s own ambition die to be replaced by God’ plans for us? ‘Dying to self’? Could we blamed for not feeling enthused? How many of us really see the wisdom in ditching our own exciting life plans to go around being holy? Perhaps we need to think again about how exciting our ambitions really are. Perhaps sacrificing our own agenda and recognising God’s plan in our lives could be the best and most exciting thing that ever happened to us. Perhaps sacrificing something of ourselves for a greater purpose could put us in touch with who we really are.
As Christians, living through the pandemic has taught many of us to look for a greater purpose whatever age we might have reached.