Unless a grain of wheat falls unto the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24
If you have ever planted something from a seed you have experienced a miracle of transformation. Seeds are a funny thing; many are no bigger than flicks of dirt and if carelessly dropped, they may never be retrieved. That is, until many weeks later, this random plant begins to sprout from the earth. Seeds are also very passive. If one studies them it would soon be concluded that they are indeed dead. They are hard and lifeless. And yet, we know from experience, when placed in the proper conditions, these very seeds will become thriving, proliferous plants.
Our Lord teaches us a lot about our relationship with him through analogies with seeds and plants. Our faith is based on something we do “not see, and yet believe.” Faith is a gift we must constantly nurture so that we may reap “a hundred fold.” There are three essential elements that nurture seeds, which can also be applied to nurturing our souls.
The first is soil, just as seeds need rich, fertile soil, so do our souls. The compost that becomes fertile isn’t always pleasant to look at and even may be a bit smelly, but these are the sacrifices that we make to enrich our lives. Water is the next essential element; “Those who sow in tears will reap rejoicing.” Our Lord transforms our sacrifices with the moisture of our own tears that we may grow to our fullest potential. The third major element for growth is the sun. Nothing would expand without the sun’s warmth filling it. Yet the sun too can be very scorching, too much and it will wither its recipient; although this action also separates the weaklings from the hardy plants.
He also tells us if “you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Have you ever seen a mustard seed? It really does look like a very, very small speck of dirt. Any yet, if our faith is only this, nothing will be impossible for us.
As our summer is now turning into fall, it is vital to reap all that has been given to us over these last months for our growth. And remember when the winter months roll in, and the seeds of your faith may become hard and seemingly lifeless, plant them again in the rich soil of our Lord’s love and experience the miracle of transformation.
We are a Catholic religious congregation of about 125 strong in the United States and about 1300 worldwide! God has blessed us with a special mission (or charism): to make visible the Merciful Love of Christ in our service.