"I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit." - John 12:24
This excerpt from today's Gospel reminds us that for every growth there is a dying of sorts. Real growth comes at a cost. Little children are desperate to be bigger, but even they soon realize that growing up means becoming "too big" to do some things. Older children may want to take that next step to high school or college, but doing so means leaving some friends and familiarity behind. The same holds true for leaving home. Career changes may also involve a similar sense of loss. Getting married requires a change in lifestyle, and a decision to refuse any romantic opportunities that may come your way. Becoming a mother is a transformation. The woman that you once were dies in order that a new version of you may be created.
Any true growth comes at a cost, but the price is usually worth it. We come out on the other side a better, more developed person, wiser for the experience. Like the grain of wheat, we can bear much fruit and take the next step on our journey.