Monday, September 1, 2014

A Grain of Wheat

Women of Faith:
“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. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.” Jn 12: 24-26

As mom’s we quickly learn to put aside our wants and desires to meet the needs of our children. Maybe it’s self preservation, that we don’t want to listen to a baby cry, but I’d rather think it is because that is the heart that God created in women. I see this character trait even among women who for whatever reason are childless, an inner sense of responsibility and compassion for someone in need… especially the needs of infants and those who seem otherwise “helpless.”
I also think that this is why he blessed men with us as their helpmates – so that the stereotypical strength and courage of a man would be softened by the stereotypical caring and compassion of women – it takes both, together, to be able to imitate the full realm of God’s persona. For, together, we have been created in his likeness and image—and asked to continue the creation of His kingdom here on earth.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” Mt 16: 23-26
Again, Jesus speaks of growing by dying, of bearing our crosses and becoming like him, of losing our earthly life by putting our needs behind those of others, of putting our humanly life on the cross so that we are free to strive for heavenly rewards… to be self-giving rather than self-receiving.

For what good is it if we have earthly “things” but fail to attain eternal joy in heaven. What good is it if we have clothes, shoes and vacations if we have broken marriages and children starving for attention?
Male and female, created together, under one mission, complementary, so that joined together we have the strength and power needed to carry the cross, the caring and compassion needed to assist each other, bear the burdens of day to day life, and the mercy and acceptance it takes by both in forgiving each other when we don’t quite live up to the roles we have been given.

Dying to my own needs…. Putting others before me…. Finding the joy in bearing my cross as He did for us. My mission may be difficult, but it is also necessary, not only to obtain my own place in heaven, but to grow and show heaven to others. This is the one, true mission that God set before each of us, to be a grain of wheat which dies so that others may live—first in the domestic church through our family and then in the worldwide church through our community.
Heavenly Father, it is in Your image which I have been created, it is to Your image in which I hope to be changed by conversion. Through your Son, Jesus, You bore the cross for each of us. Help us now each to bear our crosses for you. May I see and accept each person you place near me as a child of God who needs my love, compassion, and forgiveness. Amen.

Take up your cross, die as does the grain of wheat and live for Him by sowing the seed of faith in others.

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