Gospel Jn 12:20-33
Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies
To those who are familiar with the sayings of Jesus, the imagery used in today’s Gospel reading is a familiar one, yet often this familiarity can blind us to the astonishing nature of the person of Jesus and the words which he speaks.
Here we have Jesus speaking of the grain of wheat which will not be able to give new life unless it dies. If it does it will sprout and generate and be a source of life for those who rely on bread to survive.
Here we witness one of the great paradoxes of the Christian faith. It is death that leads to life. How can this be?
As our Lenten journey progresses we press more and more deeply into our reflections on the sufferings that Jesus experienced through his Passion and death we are invited to unite our sufferings with his.
Apart from him, our sufferings are meaningless and a source of despair and hopelessness. What Jesus offers is no quick fix – despite our desires otherwise. No. Instead what he offers us is empathy; a real experience of ‘suffering with’ that we cannot experience authentically elsewhere.
When we look upon an image of the crucified Christ we see in his great sufferings the hope we have for the salvation of all humanity [CCC1821] for it is by his stripes that we are healed [Is 53:5].
What Christ asks of us here is that we not hold back in our giving – even to the point of death – because the human person, the only creature on earth which God willed for itself cannot find himself except through a sincere gift of self. [GS, 24]
If we die with him we will experience his resurrection. [2Tim 2:11]
Points to Ponder
How am I tracking this Lenten season?
Perhaps this is a good time to reassess the commitments we made at the start of this Lenten period.
No matter how you’ve travelled so far, let’s make a resolution to finish off this Lenten season well, so that we can adequately prepare for Our Lord’s resurrection at Easter