“Our path to Wisdom” by Patrick Sullivan

“Our path to Wisdom”                                                                         Reflection for 5th Sunday of Lent


In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus give us a very powerful image of a grain of wheat falling into the earth; he says that unless the grain dies it will remain just a single grain, but if it dies it will bear much fruit.

It is reminiscent of the seasons; in autumn after leaves drop to the ground they still have a role to play. The dead leaves form a blanket on the ground around the foot of the tree that protects its roots from the cold while holding in moisture. Insects and fungi break the leaves down into humus which nourishes the roots of the tree.  The fallen leaves create nourishment for the earth from which the spring flowers appear. From death comes new life.

The challenge for us is to examine the aspects of our lives which are blocking us from achieving our true potential, that are blocking us from following in Jesus’s footsteps. What elements of our lives need to ‘die’, need to fall away to free us up to new life, new growth?

Jesus makes the point that his suffering on earth is part of his journey when he says “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”

There is a wonderful message of hope for us in this; Jesus is inviting us to seek out a path that will bring us closer to him, closer to the Kingdom. All our experiences in life are part of that journey; we will inevitably make mistakes or misjudgements along the way. However we always have the opportunity to reflect on and learn from our mistakes and through our reflection to grow in wisdom.

An unknown author has penned these lines:

“Without winter, there can be no spring. Without mistakes, there can be no learning. Without doubts, there can be no faith. Without fears, there can be no courage. My mistakes, my fears and my doubts are my path to wisdom.”

How does this image speak to you and your life?