Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12. 20 - 33
Only recently did I learn that there is a season in the church called "Passiontide," recognized by many churches as the last two weeks before Easter and a time when the turn is made toward the Crucifixion and ultimately the Resurrection. Crosses are covered, music becomes more solemn and the march toward Good Friday begins.
The gospel which was read yesterday launches the theme of death and resurrection. It is not yet Palm Sunday, instead it is the week before and Jesus knows just as he has always known that "it is his Father's will" that will be done. Jesus knows that he will suffer; Jesus knows why this must all happen.
The season of Passiontide gives us more time to walk with Jesus toward Jerusalem. It gives us more time to feel his impending crucifixion and death, to suffer with him and to look to our own lives for places that suffering and death have taken place or need to take place.
We can ask questions like:
What am I holding onto that I need to let go of so it will break open?
What season change is ahead of me; how do I need to change my "wardrobe?"
What am I afraid of and how can I tame that fear?
Where do I need to stay awake so God can help me see my way?
We have the benefit of being Easter, so we know the end of the story..."there are things worth living for, even if we find ourselves having to die for them as well." Joan Chittister, The Liturgical Year.
This metaphor makes the "Bread of Heaven, the Body of Christ" take on new meaning.