St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church

P.O. Box 1748, 1927 RR 1431,

Kingsland TX 78643

Office: 325-388-3742

Lee Hall: 325-388-0397

Reverend Father Uche Evaristus Obikwelu

Mission: Our Lady of the Lake

120 RR 2233,

Sunrise Beach TX 78643,

4 miles off TX Hwy 71

Fifth Sunday of Lent – 2018

How does a grain of wheat produce much
It was just last week that we celebrated “Rejoice
Sunday”, which marked the middle of Lent; and by
next weekend we shall celebrate Palm Sunday, which
will usher in the Holy Week. In-between these two
remarkable Sundays stood the Fifth Sunday of Lent.
This Sunday speaks about God’s new covenant in the
first reading, as Prophet Jeremiah echoes God’s promise
saying, “But this is the covenant that I will
make with the house of Israel after those days, says the
Lord. I will place my law within them and write it upon
their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be
my people. No longer will they have need to teach
their friends and relatives how to know the Lord. All,
from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their
sin no more.” The new covenant as the first reading
emphasizes comes with a responsibility – so does our
baptism. This responsibility is what Jesus made manifest
in the Gospel of John, when he addresses those
Greeks who requested Philip and Andrew: “Sir, we
would like to see Jesus.” Thus, Jesus replies, “The
hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
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”
Jesus’ injunction is profound, deep and worthy of
meditation. How does a simple grain of wheat produce
much fruit? Like the new Covenant which Jeremiah
speaks about, our baptism is not just for keeping
tabs of counts; it is for us to die with Christ by giving
up our sins, our pride, our egos, our conveniences; and
then begin today to appreciate the need to sacrifice,
just as Jesus sacrificed everything for you and for me -
the sacrifice that gained for you and me such a glorious
redemption. The grain of wheat can only bear
much fruit in us when we realize that we must detach
from our personal interests and look for the good of
the other (Community of the Body of Christ) – of
course, our families and societal responsibilities must
not be neglected. But, we can begin with these benign
questions? Is my covenant and baptism only to come
to Mass on Sunday and give my offertory at
Mass? Are these all that I do as part of my covenant
with God – for the life he gives me; for the privilege to
be Catholic; and for the countless blessings I could not
fathom why I have them? So, are these the limits of
my baptism, which earned you and I the honor of being
called sons or daughters of God? To produce much
fruits, my brothers and sisters, will need to go beyond
just only coming to Sunday Mass and giving offertory.
We must ask: does God have limits to keeping his part
of our covenant? No, he doesn’t. So, we too cannot
limit our own part and fruits of baptism. We need to
ask ourselves always: do I actively engage in the communal
life of my parish – volunteering spirit? Could I
step up and ask, how could I be of help to my Church?
It doesn’t have to be monetary always? It could be
adding to attend a daily Mass at least once a week,
which can increase by practice; it could be a group that
visits the bereaved, the sick or the elderly. I can also
take up one apostolate in my parish? To address these
suggestions may be helpful in reexamining our covenant
with God and the fruits of our baptism in Christ.
Brethren, let us not forget this gentle reminder as we
prepare to enter the Holy Week: “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.”
In Christ,
Father Uche Obikwelu

Mar 18, 2018 Category: Pastors Posted by: cmscharles