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The paradox of the grain of wheat

Gospel reading: Jn 12:24-26
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

Whoever serves me must follow me
Jesus says this to his disciples after Andrew and Philip inform him about the coming of some Greek visitors wanting to see him. He teaches the necessity of dying in order to give life and regain one’s own life.

Jesus says that whoever serves him must follow him. Do serving and following not mean the same? Here, yes. They differ from each other in meaning. Serving (diakonia) is doing a favor, like preparing food or carrying loads for the journey, or waiting upon another. Following Jesus (akoloutheo) is accompanying him wherever he goes. It is also learning from him and his way of thinking.

Discipleship is literally journeying with Jesus up to the end. There is no turning back or giving up.

We easily serve Christ in the beginning, but we let him go later. We are detached from him and his teachings. We can be good social workers – giving our best service to the community, having our own humanism, and acting according to our theories and ideologies. Unless we put on the mind of Jesus and follow in his footsteps, however, we cannot be called Christians.

To serve and follow Christ is to be willing to journey And die with him. Are you ready for this?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.