Parable of the Grain of Wheat

A parable occurring in John 12, given as an explanation, when after the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Philip and Andrew presented to Jesus the request of some Gentiles to see Him, of why He must suffer and die before His glorification. Jesus is the grain of wheat sown and destined to bring forth much fruit. Now, just as according to the law of nature the grain of wheat, under the penalty of remaining alone to rot, be trampled upon, or eaten, must die, that is, sacrifice all that it hides within itself in support of the life that develops within it under the influence of sun and rain, so too must Jesus, according to the law of grace, suffer and die, that is, sacrifice all that He possesses according to the natural order in order that mankind may be redeemed, souls saved, honor and glory given to God. The same law holds good for all men; to encourage us we have Christ’s promise of a great reward and assurance of the grace He merited for us. Saint Ignatius of Antioch applied this parable to himself, just before being thrown to the lions, in the beautiful words “I am the wheat of Christ, I shall be ground between the teeth of beasts, that I may become clean bread.” It can also be applied to the Holy Eucharist.