Gospel Reflection Mar 17 – Fr. Lynch

Sunday, March 17

Fifth Sunday of Lent

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.

Gospel Reflection:

We interrupt this Lenten season and wish you all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It falls on a Sunday this year and the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Did you know that while practicing Lenten observances of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, that Sundays are still considered special days of rest as the Sabbath? This means that people are given the option to relax on this day from their Lenten observances, however it is not required.

The Gospel of John 12:2-33 today is a powerful reminder of 3 things.

First is that we are all going to die. It’s not a popular topic of discussion for us, yet we know that death is not our final end, rather that Jesus has prepared for us an Eternal Kingdom to come. The second is that Jesus teaches us that we must prepare ourselves for this Kingdom by following His example, listening to Him, and imitating Him in thoughts, words, deeds, and actions. The third is that we must die to self. What does this mean, to die to self? A simple way to answer this is to see Christ in others. This means that we were not created for our very self entirely, but rather out of God’s love, for His glory and to help others, see in each other this reality. Married couples are presented, meaning given this present or task every day of their married lives. They are called to make sacrifices, in imitating Jesus for each other, then if it is God’s will that they have children, they are drawn ever deeper into this mystery of dying to self for each other and for their children. Less of me and more of thee! That is dying to self.

Jesus is the greatest good that we have ever been gifted, both in this life and the life to come. Do we believe this? That He is truly the greatest? Pay attention to these next several weeks in scripture at Mass where He will truly show us. That is what his response is to the Greeks who want to meet with him, to his Apostles and to us. That the time has come where He will now show us.

So let us follow His example of pouring out ourselves completely, ridding us of our selfish tendencies, and seeking to serve Christ in each other. When we do this, it may not always look pretty, but we are dying to self, being replanted in Christ, who then gives us the grace to grow in ways beyond our dreams.

A little Irish blessing to end, “May you be in heaven, a half hour before the devil knows you are dead.” St. Patrick and St. Brigid of Kildare, pray for us!

Father Lynch