Sois la semilla que ha de crecer,
sois estrella que ha de brillar.
Sois levadura sois grano de sal,
antorcha que ha de alumbrar.
You are the seed that will grow a new sprout;
you’re a star that will shine in the night;
you are the yeast and a small grain of salt,
a beacon to glow in the dark.
Cesáreo Gabaráin was born in 1936 in a small village in the Basque country of northern Spain near the French border. He began his seminary studies in 1946 at a minor seminary in Zaragoza, Spain, later moving on to a major seminary in San Sebastian. He was ordained a priest in 1959. He began to write hymns early in his ministry, and was allowed the freedom to write an even greater variety of hymns after liturgical reforms enacted by the Second Vatican Council allowed for different styles of music. Gabaráin is most well known for the hymns You are the seed and You have come down to the lakeshore.
Written in the late 1970’s, the verses of Sois la semilla are filled with imagery from parables that Jesus used in his teaching ministry – salt, yeast, seeds, light, rock. The refrain is a paraphrase of the Great Commission in Matthew 28 –
Go my friends, go to the world,
proclaim the great love of God;
messengers to tell the way of life,
peace and pardon for all.
Be, my friends, a loyal witness,
from the dead Christ arose;
“Lo, I’ll be with you forevermore,
‘til the end of the world.”
Skinner Chávez-Melo and Raquel Gutiérrez-Achón translated the text of this hymn from Spanish to English, with Chávez-Melo also arranging the tune. This hymn is Ascension’s gathering hymn for Sunday, February 12, the 6th Sunday after Epiphany.