Every Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by CFCA preacher relations manager Tim Deveney.
This year I am trying to start my entire garden from seed. It’s more work than a trip to the nursery.
Fortunately my 4-year-old daughter is enjoying planting tomato seeds, and her small hands and fingers handle these tiny seeds much better than my mitts.
She waits expectantly for me to get home so we can put dirt in the cups fashioned out of newspaper, place two seeds, water and wait.
Wait for them to sprout. Wait for them to grow. Wait for the crisp cool mornings of late winter to give way to spring’s warmth so we can plant them in the garden. Wait patiently for the plants to bear fruit.
Our Lenten path, like our lives, is filled with planting seeds and waiting for them to grow and bear fruit.
The Gospel reading for the Fifth Sunday in Lent includes Jesus using the imagery of a grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies.
Parents of CFCA sponsored children in the Philippines take up organic gardening. Read more about their initiative.
It becomes a simple small seed that becomes a plant that produces fruit ñ a fruit that becomes bread.
Our prayers, sacrifices and Lenten penances can provide for us ways to open ourselves more deeply to God’s love.
We let these grains of wheat fall to the ground and die and, hopefully, let God in to bear fruit.
It is hard to do this, because it requires waiting and looking for where the fruit of God’s love is being born in and around us.
It is in looking for these small miracles that we find God’s greatest love, like the “dead” grain of wheat sprouting out of the ground, growing tall and giving us grain that becomes our daily bread.
I’m witnessing that with my tomato seeds, in my own personal sponsorship and in my visits to El Salvador.
I see these little seeds my daughter is adept at handling sprouting out of the soil and hopefully giving an abundant harvest of fresh tomatoes.
I read the letters from Solomon, the teenager my family sponsors, who over a period of seven years, has gone from a small boy drawing rudimentary pictures of flowers to a youth writing me in Hindi and English.
There are young people I have met in El Salvador who are walking out of poverty by going to school, finding meaningful work and providing for their families, because our sponsors, staff and families sacrificed for them.
This all takes patience and understanding that we may not see the end result. We wait patiently and are hopeful because we know that in the end, the grain of wheat is Jesus and in Him we bear great fruit.
- Preparing our hearts for God’s wonder [1st Lenten reflection]
- Having faith even in the face of confusion [2nd Lenten reflection]
- Checking our spiritual ‘GPS’ [3rd Lenten reflection]
- Moving to meaningful, life-saving action [4th Lenten reflection]
- Seeing Jesus in those living in poverty [6th Lenten reflection]