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Domenica 26 Marzo 2023

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Word for today
The Gospel of John 12:20-33

Fruitful Death

Jesus insists. It is the very heart of his mesage: it is the proclamation about the real liberation from every slavery and fear. It is the real good tidings, happy news, offering new light to a humanity that is disheartened and lost in a wearisome search.
The proclamation is the same for those who see and know Jesus as well as for those who will never look for him. Jesus insists on his message, he insists thoughout his entire earthly lifetime, in his every word, through parables, examples, paradoxes, miracles, encounters, actions, dialogues, prayers.
Jesus knows that there can be no liberation of any kind for man without knowledge and coming to terms with this interior process.
In every possible moment Jesus confirms the heart of his message and uses a thousand ways to exemplify it, to better explain it, and to bring the people closer to it. Then he goes on to widen its meaning, he shows it from other views, he completes the vision, he deepens the knowledge, he shows the effects and results.
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life, literally: Whoever loves his own way of thinking, will lose it (life), whoever hates his own way of thinking in this world will preserve his life for eternal life. The heart of everything, what can block everything is our way of thinking, the constructions of our mind.
The Greek term used is psyché, and it cannot be translated in any other way than with mind, psyche, mentality, mental constructions. If this psyché does not die,  our life and everything that we are, can be, or will become will die in us; if instead we have the courage to let our psyché die, we will preserve real life with all of its gifts for all of eternity.
Jesus broadens the view and shows other consequences of what is his greatest law, his first indication, the matrix of his message, one of the supreme dominating laws. 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. This is a splendid, unforeseeable, powerful aperture. Jesus proposes a cause and effect relationship that is inconceivable to us; he proposes a  correspondence between behavioral categories that are not associated in our mind. The seed that does not die will remain alone, if it dies it will produce fruit. On the one hand the seed that does not die is put in relation to solitude and not with the failure to produce fruit, as it would be more logical to imagine  in this correlation. On the other hand, the seed’s death is placed in direct relation with producing much fruit and not with life. The incoherence is only apparent, the truth is evident.
In short, whoever does not give up his own way of thinking will find solitude, will remain alone, not loved, not sought after, not desired, isolated. Whoever renounces and lets perish one’s own way of thinking, one’s mental constructions, the mental training that one has been inflicted with will be able to produce much fruit, will have an efficacious life for others and for himself, beautiful, full, flavorful, passionate, rich with fruit in other words.
Jesus proposes a new and unheard of relationship between solitude and failure to renounce one’s own psyche. For the Gospel solitude, which afflicts such a large part of humanity and which makes so many suffer and despair, is triggered by refusing to give up one’s own way of thinking, which leads us to hold on to our prejudices, and securities and impedes us from being useful to others, as well as blocking us from every form of gratitude and gratuitousness.
Whoever dos not give up his mind and mentality, he who does not give up old habits and securities, family and cultural training processes cannot be grateful, cannot succeed in being generous, does not have the force and the heart to place himself at the service of others.
This leads to solitude, isolation, depression, and fear. A solitude that will never sow or produce anything but will only judge and expect.
The origin of solitude is not, therefore, the lack of persons one can refer to, it is not a lack of love on the part of others, but it is obstinacy, obstinacy in remaining in a castle invented by our own ideas, where our person is at the center of the world, a pretend world that only knows judgement and suffering.
Jesus shows us a shining, master way that is efficacious and functional in overcoming solitude: that is by letting die, or rather letting rot our familiar structures of  thought and prejudice, attachments and habits, obstinacies and old forms of protection and securities, and our reassuring, deceptive ties of possession.
Those who suffer from solitude wait all their lives for others to reach out to them, to search for them in the hopes of feeling desirable, appreciated, loved. They thus place themselves at the center of the world, of a pretend illusory world that does not exist if not in their heads. A world where they hope, implore, and suffer while they await the comprehension and attention of others. But it is a pretend world that does not exist.
Experience and Jesus teach us that solitude and fear of loneliness are not overcome in this way.
Jesus proposes another way, a way that is not foreseen by the human mind but a powerful,  working way. If the seed dies it produces fruit; this interior process cannot be carried out by anyone else in our place,  not even God. Abandoning our thought process and the fruit of our training, and beginning to think autonomously to open our hearts to reality and life is an entirely personal process. Certainly, it must be carried out with the help of God, but the process depends on us and we cannot ask anyone else to do it for us. The change can take place only inside of u; only we can change ourselves. Every time that the reality that we face  is not what we would want it to be and we ask others to change we are placing ourselves in a mental and emotional pathway characterized by necrosis, death, pain and suffering.
It is irrational, illogical, useless, ineffective, pathetic, silly, vulgar, disadvantageous, dangerous, violent, fictitious to ask others to change. Our mind is confused. Jesus does not the same associative plans that we do. If whoever  does not die to his mentality remains alone, it must mean that whoever lets his own mentality die will not be alone; he will be loved, he will be surrounded, he will be anything but alone. No, that is not how it is, at least that is not what is written. Cause and effect follow divine ways that are unknown to us.
Jeus confides some points of light. Whoever decides to renounce his own mind, securities, and attachments will produce fruit, bearing in mind what  fruit means in the Gospel, that is new life, beauty and fragrance, new seeds of the Spirit, joy, enjoyment and relish in existence, the world, the Church, the heart.
Therefore whoever knows how to die to the self constructed in the mind will produce fruit, will bring to the world and to everyone beautiful, useful, healthy, joyful, vital things. Not only is solitude overcome, forgotten, and never considered again but human life acquires efficaciousness, peace, vision and an uncontrollable, incalculable joy.
Jesus is the forerunner of this spiritual and existential revolution. Jesus himself is the first seed, the seed of the Holy Paraclete, the Son of the Father, he is the seed of a new plant that was sweetly laid in the arms of the Blessed Virgin in an obscure grotto in Bethlehem.  He is the divine seed that walked on this earth and proclaimed a new way to live and to understand life. He is the seed that was forcibly thrown into the bleeding wounds of the stony earth of Calvary generating the cross, the tree of death and of life. Jesus is the seed thrown to the ground who could not have been planted more violently and inexorably in those stones that were so jagged and hard, just like our hearts.
All the more violently the seed was sown and furiously thrown to the ground all the more deeply it entered into our history, into the humors of the earth, into the trenches of our souls, into the liquids of our hearts. With the same violence that we massacred that divine seed with even more power we have sown him in the hearts of all peoples. There is no heart of man or of woman who will not one day be attracted to the fragrance of that tree, by the perfume of those flowers, by the beauty of those fruits, by the light of that resurrection.
We thought we could eliminate Jesus massacring him and hiding him in the veins of the earth; no one realized that instead we ourselves planted him with our hands for always in the heart of the earth and in the heart of humanity.
Jesus is the head of the family of the new harvest, seed and fruit, root and tree together, branches and leaves. Jesus is the first seed spread among men and women for a harvest of life and splendor, for the splendor and glory of the name of the Father. Jesus is the first seed and the only tree of life, he is the incarnation of the tree of life.
By the force of violence of the human psyche the wood of the cross was embodied in that divine flesh, but it is nonetheless true that by the force of love Jesus’ divine heart was embodied in that wood transforming it into a tree of life, life itself. The tree that will attract everyone always.