Homily 1: Unless the Grain of Wheat Dies

2 April 2006: Fifth Sunday of Lent
John 12, 23-26: Unless the Grain of Wheat Dies

Alternative 1

I. On Death: Gospel: unless the grain of wheat dies = produces much fruit.

DYING – that produces life.

A. Death always has been and always will be with us. It is an integral part of human existence. Kubler-Ross: “The key to the question of death unlocks the door of life.”

B. This truth is glaring only if we open our eyes: to awake to all dimensions of life.

In fact, we teach it, not tragically, we are not so aware of this reality.

  1. Biology: all divisions pave the way for new growth: a flower then is a product of death.
  2. History: our present civilization is an off shoot of ancient centuries.
  3. Literature: Thomas Mann said: without death there would scarely have been poets on earth. The 1st epic, The Babylonian Gilgamesh and

The 1st known lyric poem, by Sappho was about death

  1. Music: The songs of Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Verdi, Mahler have death as a theme.
  2. Relationships: the fear of the death of the friendship, of love both inspires us and determines our attitude towards life, and towards our love ones.

--the depth and authenticity of our friendship tested by the numerous “deaths” we have shared and endeavored.

--the depth and genuineness of love and determined by our selfless sacrifices for our loved ones.

--if one dies, we produce much fruit: growth and development—whether physically, continually, emotionally, socially—is made possible by death.

--- our heartaches, that is experienced like dying, has given us a bigger hearts. All heart pains expands our hearts; it has more room for more loves.

II. Commitment: to die in order to produce much fruit: we die for a higher value that giving meaning.

A. Story Pig and Chicken

B. My story of HS teachers: we forget the content of what our teachers taught, but we remember:

a. who sacrificed much in how they teach: we know who among them prepared their lessons well.

b. who struggled with us in school, spent time beyond school time.

c. taught by example, their values.

C. The best teachers are those who died for us—not “donated the chickens who taught out of mere work.

D. Dec. 27, Science Oriented High School, Aquinas University, Legazpi City-Reunion- we the students, preparing for a reunion inviting our memorable teachers. We are their products, the fruit of their labor

III. Prayers: reflect on one’s death: then you will know what good thing you should do now, lest you die alone and meaningless.

(viewed as catastrophic, as distinctive, as constructive, creative elements of culture and life.)

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