Fr. Philip Neri Powell OP
St. Dominic Priory, NOLA
A grain of wheat must die to produce much fruit. I doubt Jesus means that we must die like Lawrence, roasting over a pit of burning coals. But he does mean that someone we are now must die so that everything we can be in Christ may live. The hard part of salvation for us is the choosing of it. And even then we're given everything we need to make the right choice. All that holds us back from holiness once the choice is made is leftover from who were were before we chose. This is the dying to self part. The hard part. Letting go of our imaginary needs; our luxurious wants – all of our inordinate passions and destructive memories. Failing here, we end up wearing the rotting corpse of the Old Man we once were while, lurching around like a religious zombie in a habit! Jesus says to be his servant we must follow him. Not just in spirit – like we might follow a football team or a mini-series – but walk in his footsteps wherever we find ourselves. He died sacrificially on a cross. We have to find our cross and die there as well. Again, not necessarily the same way Lawrence did, but to produce good fruit, we must die.