‘This is the covenant I will make with them,’ says the Lord God: ‘I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people.’ Jeremiah 31:33
O God, our Redeemer,
in our weakness we have failed
to be your messengers of forgiveness and hope:
renew us by your Holy Spirit,
that we may follow your commands
and proclaim your reign of love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
- Jeremiah 31:31-34
- Psalm 119:9-16
- Hebrews 5:5-14
- John 12:20-33
- Isaiah 50:4-9a
- Psalm 31:9-18
- Philippians 2:5-11
- Luke 22:14-23:56
A Thought to Ponder
Lent 5 John 12:20-33
“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Today’s Gospel is a pivotal moment in John’s narrative. Jesus’ words about the “coming” of his “hour” mark the end of John’s “Book of Signs” and prefaces of “The Book of Glory”: the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
The Passover is about to begin; many Jews (including some Greek Jews) have arrived in Jerusalem for the festival. Meanwhile, Jesus’ conflict with the Jewish establishment has reached the crisis stage. The events of Holy Week are now in motion. Jesus obediently accepts his fate and is prepared for the outcome.
Jesus compares his “glorification” to a grain of wheat that is buried and dies to itself in order to produce the potential life within it. The sacrifice and harvest of the grain of wheat are the fate and glory of anyone who would be Jesus’ disciple. The “voice” heard from the sky expresses the unity of Jesus’ purpose and God’s will.
To become the people God calls us to be, to live our lives in the joy of God’s love, begins by our “dying” to our doubts and fears, “dying” to our self-centred wants and needs, “dying” to our immaturity and prejudices.
The risk of being hurt is the price of love. That is the challenge of the grain of wheat: only by loving is love returned, only by reaching out and trying do we learn and grow, only by giving to others do we receive, only by dying do we rise to new life.
The Gospel of the grain of wheat is Christ’s assurance to us of the great things we can do and the powerful miracles we can work in letting go of our prejudices, fears and ambitions in order to imitate the compassion and love of the crucified Jesus, the Servant Redeemer.
You can read the Pew Sheet hereLent-5-B