for Sunday, March 22, 2015
We would like to see Jesus! These Greeks in the Gospel from Saint John today know that something is happening. They want to see this man who is causing such a stir. We don't know their motives but we cannot presume that they had bad motivation. We also would like to see Jesus at times.
Jesus tells us clearly: Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. This gives us pause in our following of Jesus because quite often we don't want to give up our life. Yet for this Sunday of Lent, the message is about dying to our present self and allowing the New Covenant to possess us entirely.
The Prophet Jeremiah is the first of our readings today. He tells us of God's desire for us and God's will that we be transformed. Jeremiah is very clear that this transformation will be the work of God. It is not something that we can accomplish by our own strength and will. I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. This New Covenant will come about with the forgiveness of our sins. God Himself promises to forget our sins.
The Letter to the Hebrews, the second reading today, speaks of the role of Jesus in our salvation. It is not just God who saves us, it is God now revealed as Trinity, God revealed as compassion and love, God who takes on our humanity and suffers with us - it is this God we come to know in Jesus: Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
So we return to the Gospel of John. Do we really want to see Jesus? Do we just want to observe Him or do we want to see Him as He is? Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The only way to see Jesus as He is, is to serve Him so that we can truly know Him. We want to see and know the heart of our Lord and that is only possible by this complete service. This Gospel passage is one of very few when the Father's voice is heard by the crowd. We are not sure what hearing the voice of the Father meant to them, but for sure there was something strange and from another world happening and people were aware of it. For us, there may at times be similar experiences, although perhaps not as striking. Walking in faith allows us to see and to experience the world in a different way.
This Lent is the time for our conversion. This Lent is the time to live more fully the New Covenant in the blood of Christ. God forgives us and forgets our sins. Let us rejoice in the Lord.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Jeremiah 31.31-34
Second Reading: Hebrews 5.7-9
Gospel: John 12.20-33
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: