The one who goes out to sow is of course Our Blessed Lord Himself. From the beginning of time, He goes out in every age to sow the seed of His Word, hoping that here or there, some soul might welcome it and allow it to take root in his soul. Sadly, most souls neglect the grace and lose it, either by total indifference or by the attraction of the world and the lusts of the flesh, riches in all its forms choking the ray of divine grace and preventing it from taking root and producing spiritual fruit.
Every seed must die before it can produce fruit. It has to be thrown into the ground and disappear, to dissolve, as it were. The grain of wheat falling onto the grain, unless it dies, remains alone; but if it dies, it bringers forth much fruit (Jn 12:24). And that is where we feel the pinch. Most souls refuse to die to themselves, to their pleasures and ambitions. They want to have a comfortable life. They don’t want to deny themselves, but they seek to take advantage of everything life has to offer. They do not know how to sacrifice anything. And so they do not die, and do not ever produce fruit. And in so doing, they die to grace and to eternal life.
That is why today’s epistle presents St Paul’s autobiographical portrait, in which, far from laying out his many talents and accomplishments, lines up his trials, sufferings and failures. From the very day of his conversion, Our Lord had made it clear that Paul would have much to suffer. Years later, he could look back and say: yes, Our Lord was right; He has led me through so many trials, that it was not possible for me to have made my way through without some special grace of His. Indeed, it is precisely in those trials, that the grace of God is made perfect in me.
This is a great consolation for us all, dear Friends. Everyone of us tends to long for a comfortable, easy life. Penance, mortification, humility: these things go against the grain of our fallen nature. But they did so also for all the saints, and yet, they were able to overcome themselves. Or rather, the grace of God was able to overcome in and through them.
So whenever you feel like you can never become a saint, and you do not want to die to yourself, make an act of faith in God’s word. Believe that it is only by dying to yourself, to the flesh, to the world, that you will find peace, and then ask Our Blessed Saviour, through Mary Immaculate, to be your strength, your power, your virtue. You cannot do it alone, but no one is asking you to do it alone.
Jesus our blessed Saviour went before us. All the holy martyrs, virgins and confessors of the faith have traced out the way. All we have to do is follow in their footsteps. Sanctity is not be reinvented in every age. It is the same yesterday, today and forever. So let us join together and set out today on that path that lead through the cross to eternal life. Amen.