Fifth Sunday of Lent - Year B
"If it dies, it produces much fruit"
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [Benedict XVI, Pope from 2005 to 2013]
Vom Sinn des Christseins, 1965
To be a Christian is first of all and always to tear oneself away from the selfishness that lives only for itself, so as to enter into a great fundamental orientation of life for one another. Basically, all the great scriptural images transmit this reality. The image of Easter…, the image of the Exodus…, which begins with Abraham and which remains a fundamental law throughout sacred history: all this is an expression of the same basic movement, which consists in becoming detached from an existence turned in on itself.
The Lord Jesus spoke most deeply of this reality in the law concerning the grain of wheat, which at the same time shows that this essential law not only dominates all of history, but marks all of God’s creation since the beginning: “I solemnly assure you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit.”
In his death and resurrection, Christ fulfilled the law of the grain of wheat. In the Eucharist, in the bread of wheat, it has truly become the hundredfold fruit (Mt 13,8), of which we still and always live. But in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist, in which he remains forever the one who is truly and fully “for us”, he invites us to enter every day into that law which, ultimately, is nothing but the expression of the essence of true love…: to go out of oneself in order to serve others. In the final analysis, Christianity’s fundamental movement is nothing other than the simple movement of love, by which we participate in the creative love of God himself.