Friday of the Third week in Ordinary Time
“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies....."
Saint Gregory the Great (c.540-604), Pope, Doctor of the Church
Homilies on Matthew, ch.13
“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” (Jn 12,24)
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the 'birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'" (Mt 13,31). This small seed is for us the symbol of Jesus Christ, who, sowed into the garden where he was buried, rose from it shortly after, through his resurrection, as a big tree.
One could say that when he died he was like a small seed: a small seed because of the humiliation of his flesh, but a big tree because of the glorification of his majesty. He was like a small seed when he appeared completely disfigured before our eyes; but like a large tree when he rose again like “the most handsome of men” (Ps 44,3).
The branches of this mysterious tree are the holy preachers of the Gospel, of whom one of the Psalms indicates the reach: “Their report goes forth through all the earth, their message, to the ends of the world “ (Ps 19,5; cf Rom 10,18). The birds rest on these branches while the souls of the just, who have been raised up above earth’s attractions on the wings of holiness, find in the words of these preachers of the Gospel the consolation they need in the sorrows and difficulties of this life.