Many of us fear death. It brings sadness and an unknown. We may have experienced the grief of losing a loved one, and we may be angry that God allows death. But today's Gospel lends itself to hope. Jesus tells us that we must die in order to have new life. What a strange command. Let's pause a minute though to reflect on the nature around us. Every year, we see death come to the plants around us. The weather becomes cold and often gloomy and the trees are bare and flowers unfound. As we wait though, we slowly notice the days warming, the sun shining, and new life springs forth. There's a hustle and bustle with the birds chirping and the plants coming back to life with their colorful vigor. So too with us. We must experience a death of things in our lives that hold us back from blooming into the creation God has called us to be. We must allow these parts of ourselves to be put to death so that we may bloom in full color as we become fully alive, the man or woman God created us to be.