Like many of you I love fresh fruit and vegetables, especially vine ripe tomatoes in the summer. Sadly, there is no rectory garden, and I’ve already mentioned on a couple occasions that I do not have a green thumb, so my garden would look pretty pathetic. Gardening is hard work. It requires diligent care and attention to take a seed and turn it into a beautiful flower or a stalk of sweet corn. Jesus and his followers understood how important the process of farming and gardening is. This is why the grain of wheat imagery he uses in this weekend’s Gospel is so powerful: “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.”
During our Lenten renewal, are we willing to be like garden seeds and risk being split apart so that we can renew ourselves and grow into a life rich with abundance to share with others? Are we willing to dedicate ourselves to growing our faith and our relationship with Christ so that we may become the Christians God wants us to be? Equally as important, are we willing to let the world’s greatest Gardener nurture us, not by sun and water, but by His never-ending love and his promise to us each and every day? If so, then through our death and rebirth we, too, can produce much fruit and commit to sharing it with others.