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Author Topic: John 12:24, Unless a Grain of Wheat  (Read 2330 times)
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« on: September 04, 2010, 09:06:13 PM »

Today while I was practicing my songs for tomorrow morning's Mass, I got some ideas about this verse.  ("Unless a Grain of Wheat" is one of the songs we'll sing.)  Especially after thinking about Lana's point that scripture speaks to us personally, I started thinking how this passage strikes me.

So I started a thread in the Sacred Scripture forum on CAF.  Below is a copy of that thread.  I'm curious to see how my WF friends hear this passage.

FYI the thread is at:

The OP:
Today I thought of something I haven't previously considered.

Quote from: John 12:24-25
Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.

Part of the note on verse 24, from the NAB:  "This verse implies that through his death Jesus will be accessible to all."

I know that scripture has many levels of meaning, and I used to think this verse also was talking about our own physical deaths, but now I'm questioning that.  The "new" thing that occurred to me today was the difference in the reproduction of wheat plants v. human beings.  A wheat plant cannot reproduce and bear much fruit unless the grains fall and die.  Human being, however, reproduce without dying.

This is what I thought upon some reflection; whether it's what was intended I don't know -- but I also think scripture speaks to us at many levels that can be very personal.

I think this is about dying to our worldly self, and that's why I included verse 25 as a follow up.  I think Christ is talking about the old self, like the one in my current signature:

Quote from: Col 3:9-10
Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator.

Maybe it's a bit like the old and new wineskin message from Friday's Gospel?

How does this passage strike other people?


... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 11:36:41 AM »

I would see the question revolving around what is meant by producing much fruit. When I think of this I tend to think of the parable of the sheep and goats where Jesus talks about those things we do for him through what we do for the least among us.

It is easy to view that passage as implying that we should be going out doing good works and that we work our way into heaven by doing so. I think however that those good works are really the evidence of God being able to work in and through us. With reference to the question, I would see this as a dying to our own ego-driven motives and surrender to finding and doing the will of God.

So in my opinion you're right on the money Alan. And yes, I see it as a very similar message to the wineskin passage. Both are implying this new creation that cannot be contained in the old false self and that attempts to try will result in the fruit being lost or spilled out on the ground as useless.

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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