2 Cor. 9:6-10
John 12:24-26 

Feast of St.Lawrence


Travelling through Morocco in the early 2000s, I stayed for a month in a town called Ouarzazate, across the road from an impoverished local family. Living on the land, they toiled hard hours to produce meagre crops and tend few livestock. While the older son went to school, the girls were denied an education. The teenagers spent their days gathering firewood, while the little ones walked twice to the well, 2km away, collecting heavy pails of water which they balanced on their tiny frames.

One Friday, I was invited to join them for their weekly special meal of meat and couscous. I will never forget the way the women prepared this meal and the time it took to produce a platter of grain and stew, which they presented to the men working in the fields. When they had finished, the mother, her daughters and her two-year-old son ate. The mother reserved the finest pieces for me, the guest, then fed the little boy, while the girls waited for the remainder.

Reflecting upon today’s Gospel, Jesus clearly yielded a rich harvest through the giving of his life on the cross. Yet, the parable of the seed inspires both our physical death and the daily dying we are called to as Christians. The moments we choose to die of ourselves to the needs of others. The mother who reserves the best food for her children while going hungry herself, the child who spends long hours caring for a declining parent, those who give the best of themselves, to assist others in their moments of need. Sharing gifts of time and energy become seeds planted in the soil of our lives, producing an abundance of fruit.  

Angela Marquis works as a chaplain in a Tasmanian local primary school and with the Passionists at St Joseph’s Hobart Parish. She completed a Master of Theology in 2021 and is currently studying Biblical Hebrew with the Israel Institute. She enjoys rock climbing and long leisurely beach walks with her husband and four-legged daughter.