* [12:24] This verse implies that through his death Jesus will be accessible to all. It remains just a grain of wheat: this saying is found in the synoptic triple and double traditions (Mk 8:35; Mt 16:25; Lk 9:24; Mt 10:39; Lk 17:33). John adds the phrases (Jn 12:25) in this worldand for eternal life. USCCB, https://bible.usccb.org/bible/john/12
fifth Sunday of Lent
A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”
cf. Lk 6:45
Today is the fifth Sunday of Lent, a day we call Passion Sunday, which begins the last two weeks of Lent, a time also known as Passiontide. The Gospel reading we hear in the Liturgy of the Word at Mass tells the story of the hour that has long been anticipated by the Prophets; for Jesus answers Andrew and Phillip, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." As we enter the fifth week of Lent, today's readings are meant to remind us that the days are coming, as we read from the Prophet Jeremiah, when the Lord will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah; a covenant not like the one of their fathers; rather, it will be a law placed and written upon the hearts of man (cf. Jer 31:31-34).
Today's Mass readings direct our attention once more to the fulfillment of God's promise we find in Jesus Christ. Let us continue our Lenten journey; let us open our hearts to Jesus. As Catholics we are invited each day to participate in the celebration of the Mass, to deepen our knowledge and understanding of scripture. It is in knowing God's word - letting his Word be written in our hearts - where we will encounter the complete and total fulfillment of God's promise: that he will be our God, and we will be his people (Ez 37:27) - and blessed are we indeed who are called to the Supper of the Lamb. It is here where heaven and earth collide and we meet Jesus in the Eucharist. Be not afraid! Jesus is waiting for you when you find nothing else in this world satisfies you. For a Gospel reflection from John 12:20-33 please enjoy below. Peace be with you!
LISTEN: Whoever serves me must follow me, says the Lord; and where I am, there also will my servant be.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 12:20-33
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, 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. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.
“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.
The Gospel of the Lord
by Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, our Gospel for today contains one of the most beautiful and terrible summations of the Christian message: “Amen, amen, 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.”
And now this one upon whom the crowds had pinned their hopes is speaking of falling to the earth and dying. And then it gets stranger. “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” Come again?!
Just when we are raising you up, you’re talking about falling down; just when we are showing you that your life has come to its fulfillment, you’re talking about hating this life.
To understand what all this means, we should go back to the grain of wheat that falls to the earth. A seed’s life is inside, yes, but it’s a life that grows by being given away and mixing with the soil around it. It has to crack open, to be destroyed.
Jesus’ sign is the sign of the cross—the death that leads to transfiguration.
Reflect: What are the characteristics of someone who loves her life in this world? What are the characteristics of someone who hates his life in this world? Which are you?
Credit: Daily Lenten Gospel Reflections, Bishop Robert Barron, March 21, 2021; Word on Fire, https://www.wordonfire.org.
Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
SUNDAY SERMON: A VIDEO GOSPEL REFLECTION
Friends, today’s readings contain within them the theme of God’s covenants with his people. God has made the whole of creation, but out of the totality of the nations on earth, he chose a particular people—the Israelite nation—to be “peculiarly his own,” forming them through a series of covenants and laws. These laws, in their fulfillment, come into the hearts of all peoples through the Eucharist, which inscribes the new and everlasting covenant upon the heart, soul, and mind.”
Bishop Robert Barron
Please watch the video by clicking here:
One Promise That Can't Be Broken - Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon
You can also find the Word on Fire Sunday Sermon video below, at the end of today's blog.
The Holy Scriptures were not given to us that we should enclose them in books, but that we should engrave them upon our hearts.”
Saint John Chrysostom
Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
Saint Jerome (ca. 347 – 420 A.D.), Father and Doctor of the Church
Jesus, Word Incarnate, help me to know you.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.