The “logic of the grain of wheat”

While one may look at environmental problems such as climate change and be discouraged by concrete reality or failed logic, Pope Benedict XVI again abounds  in his references to Creation  and speaks about how to solve the worlds problems – drawing on Jesus himself, he talks of Christianity and the “logic of the grain of wheat” during the Corpus Christi homily.

Drawing on the Last Supper teaching of this year, and in general a set of reflections filled with creation theology and environmental implications, the Pope emphasizes the need for rather than us to transform the world and solve problems with exclusively our own means, we should rather let ourselves be transformed by God: “I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me”(Confessions, VII, 10, 18)

Following the great insight of Guadium et Spes10 “The truth is that the imbalances under which the modern world labors are linked with that more basic imbalance which is rooted in the heart(s) of (people)”, which has a clear application on environmental matters, the line of action that is suggested is to follow the logic of the grain of wheat. Below the central passage:

He [Jesus] accepts his passion out of love, with its trial and its violence, even to death on the cross; by accepting it in this way he transforms it into an act of giving. This is the transformation that the world needs most, because he redeems it from within, he opens it up to the kingdom of heaven. But God always wants to accomplish this renewal of the world through the same path followed by Christ, indeed, the path that is himself. There is nothing magic in Christianity. There are no shortcuts, but everything passes through the patient and humble logic of the grain of wheat that is broken to give life, the logic of faith that moves mountains with the gentle power of God. This is why God wants to continue to renew humanity, history and the cosmos through this chain of transformations, of which the Eucharist is the sacrament. Through the consecrated bread and wine, in which his Body and Blood is truly present, Christ transforms us, assimilating us in him: He involves us in his redeeming work, enabling us, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to live according to his same logic of gift, like grains of wheat united with him and in him. Thus unity and peace, which are the goal for which we strive, are sown and mature in the furrows of history, according to God’s plan.

Without illusions, without ideological utopias, we walk the streets of the world, bringing within us the Body of the Lord, like the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Visitation. With the humble awareness that we are simple grains of wheat, we cherish the firm conviction that the love of God, incarnate in Christ, is stronger than evil, violence and death. We know that God is preparing for all people new heavens and new earth where peace and justice prevail — and by faith we glimpse the new world, that is our true home.

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