Fifth Sunday of Lent

Sunday, March 18th


Jer 31:31-34; Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15;
Heb 5:7-9; Jn 12:20-33


Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself
many times over. Whoever holds on to life just as it is, destroys that life. But if you let go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. Jn 12:24 (The Message)

Every time I read this sentence from John’s Gospel I am transported back to a
retreat in 1982 when these very words changed my life. I had been in West Virginia
for about four years when a series of “God moments” invited me to see what had
been in front of me for years. “The grain of wheat remains simply a single grain
unless it is dropped into the ground and dies.” For a number of years I had been trying
to live my life in a way that simply didn’t fit. It was time to bury it and live life
recklessly in love with Jesus! Now if that doesn’t scare you, nothing will!

Like Jesus, we really can’t do this alone, and I am so very grateful for the support of
good friends, the blessings of a gentle spiritual director, and for those who trusted
that this was indeed the work of God. My life has indeed sprouted and reproduced
in more ways than I could ever count.

But if I hadn’t paid attention to what was in front of me for so many years it never
would have happened. Perhaps this year; this time of Lent is inviting you to “let go
and live recklessly in love with Jesus.” What form will that take and who are the ones
that can be there with you to support you in this Lenten journey of dropping seeds
into the ground and letting them die? So that you can have them sprout in new
forms and reproduce in a hundred ways you never even thought of. Invite them


Lord Jesus, be with me as I abandon myself
to you in this new day. Be with me as I try
to be attentive to your invitations
into new ways of living and loving.

Personal Challenge

Buy some seeds and drop them into the soil.
Be aware of what is dying in you as they sprout new life.

Mary Clark, CSJ
Wheeling, WV

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