Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Meditation on St. John 12:23-26
And Jesus answered them thus, The time has come now for the Son of Man to achieve his glory. Believe me when I tell you this; a grain of wheat must fall into the ground and die, or else it remains nothing more than a grain of wheat; but if it dies, then it yields rich fruit. He who loves his life will lose it; he who is an enemy to his own life in this world will keep it, so as to live eternally. If anyone is to be my servant, he must follow my way; so shall my servant too be where I am. If anyone serves me, my Father will do him honour.
Our Savior compares His Person in His death and resurrection to a seed being planted in the ground. Let us consider the many parallels in the divine words of the Man who is the Divine Word!
When you consider the seed, as it is planted in the ground, what is its form? It contains a rough outer skin that does not betray the beauty of the life contained within it. A perfectly formed plant already is living, pulsating its life within the seed, hidden from sight by the rough outer coat. A treasure housed in clay; the waters of life contained within a pot.
Consider now Jesus! He is God the Son made man. Divinity is hidden by humanity, and Loftiness, veiled in flesh. Lo! He comes forth from His Mother as man among men, and to our eyes there was nothing magnificent or high in Him on the surface, nor any beauty that we should desire Him. We see the skin and complexion and earthen clay of Adam, yet beneath is contained the Treasure of a Divine Spouse; His Body pulsates with His Divine Power that it contains, the Spirit flowing fourth from Him! The Waters of Life run as an infinite, torrential River from His Body, as a Treasure spilling fourth! He who was Sacrifice from the womb approaches the climax and culmination of His Being, the unfathomable Cross. He who the cosmos cannot contain is nailed to a Tree; the Hands which formed man are stretched out to embrace a world torn by biting them; the Feet which sanctify the world by planting their soles upon its soil are pierced to reveal Divine Blood flowing fourth to divinize all Creation in man.
He who is the Living One gives up His Life deliberately, in conscious choice. No man takes it from Him; He gives it up of His own will and volition, that He may take it up again. See! a Mystery unfolds. His Soul journeys from His Body and separates from it in true death, yet His Divinity unites Body and Soul into one, never departing from either. What is buried in the ground for three days is a Body, looking dead to all the world, that is pulsating with Eternal Life infinite and Divine beneath the surface. As a plant in a seed is contained when the seed is planted, so too our Savior's Divinity is united to His Body as it is planted in the ground, and with His Divine Nature, so too the Holy Spirit, teeming with all fertility and power, all Life and Strength, waits in perfect fullness in the Body of the Lord, Treasure in Clay, waiting to burst forth!
There is one Physician of flesh and spirit... God in man, true Life in death, Son of Mary and Son of God, first suffering and then beyond suffering, Jesus Christ our Lord.- St. Ignatius of Antioch
As the plant bursts forth from the seed coat by the heat and power of the sun, bringing with it the nature of the seed coat but glorified in true and final form, the Lord's Soul ascends from the dead realms and in a glorious burst of the power of the Spirit, unites to His Body and divinizes it! O Death, where is your sting? O Grave, where is your victory? O evil one, where is your power? Divinity has been finally joined to human nature, and transcendence to the earthly, in all fullness. As our Savior ascends to Heaven and sits at the right hand of His Father, bring us His Body with Him, let us give our all to Him in prayer and worship! O Sacred Vine and Tree of Life, Jesus Christ my Spouse, True Vine growing from death, your Divinity dwelt in your humanity even in death; though you were dead in the flesh, you were alive in the Spirit. Dwell in me in power and cause me to die to sin, and never leave me for all eternity. I love you, Jesus, love me in return and O my God and Savior, save me always and allow me what my heart thirsts for the most: only to be intimately one with you, my Divine and true Spouse. Dwell with me, and I will follow your ways. Teach me, and I will walk in your path. Know me, and I will follow you. Call me, and I will come running to find for my soul rest in your yoke. Love me, and never will I thirst again for anything, in this life, or the next.