Reflections - Mar. 22, 2015

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified….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.  The Father will honor whoever serves me.”  Jn. 12: 23-26.
 
Jesus reminds us in this Sunday of Lent that the hour in which the Son of Man will be glorified has arrived.  Many who heard the word “glorify” were very happy because they thought about a time for power and honor, but Jesus immediately says:  “if a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remain just a grain of wheat, but if it dies, it produces much fruit”.
 
The Lord invites his followers to accept and do the will of the Father, God.  He invites us to not allow ourselves to be dominated by things, “the world is for me not I for the world”, and to live as baptized people the radicalism of refusing oneself to follow Him”.
 
We know that in our hearts there is a struggle between the good that God asks of us and the spirit of self-sufficiency from the Father, which brings us to dispense of Christ’s cross.  We like to be lifted and glorified without the cross.  We forget that as Christians if our egos don’t die we cannot bear fruit.
 
To deny yourself and follow Christ, as Pope Francis says:  “we have to allow our eyes to be filled with contemplation looking at the wood of the cross.  Without prior knowledge or determinism….allow it to challenge us and tell us that there lies wisdom and the key to interpreting life, hope.  For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness.  Ep. 6:12.  To stand firm and win in this struggle of following Christ we need the weapon of the Lord, the Cross”.

Let us pray to the Lord in the Eucharist for the grace of humility to discern the need for salvation.  Let us learn in this Lenten Season to purify our intentions, “everything is lawful but not everything is beneficial”, 1 Cor. 10:23, and to also discover with humility where my weaknesses and limits are and those of my neighbor.
 
Oh Lord you tell us:  the grain of wheat must die to give a rich harvest.  I humble myself before You, Lord, eager to follow You on the way of the cross.  I ask You to help me grow in your friendship to be fertile in fruits for eternal life.  Amen.