A Grain of Wheat Becomes the Fruit of Everlasting Life
Reflections on the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (March 18, 2018): JER 31:31-34; PS 51:3-4,12-13,14-15; HEB 5:7-9; JN 12:20-33
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Today’s Gospel introduces a different group of listeners to Jesus, some Greeks who came to meet Him. And what He told them ranged from life and death to service and suffering. “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” (John 12:25-26). Christ wanted them to appreciate that life in this world is only our beginning. We are made for heaven. We are made to belong to Jesus and to embrace Him as our Lord and teacher. He explains that if we only look after our interests on earth and whatever gives us satisfaction in the present, we interfere with our God’s plan for us to enjoy happiness for all eternity with Him.
Jesus also tells His hearers that He will die for our sake. If He does not give His life to save ours, we can never follow Him. And He also lets them know that, as His disciples, we, too, must be prepared to help others in their needs and to sacrifice ourselves for love of our Lord. As we journey through Lent, we learn ever more clearly that real Christian life is not easy. But following Jesus is not only worthwhile – it is wonderful.