Jn 12:20-33 (or Jn 11:1-45)
There were some Greeks who had come up to Jerusalem to worship during the feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went to Andrew, and the two of them told Jesus.
Then Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world save it even to everlasting life.
Whoever wants to serve me, let him follow me; and wherever I am, there shall my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Now my soul is in distress. Shall I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But, to face all this, I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your Name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
People standing there heard something and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel was speaking to him.” Then Jesus declared, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now sentence is being passed on this world; now the prince of this world is to be cast down. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all people to myself.” With these words Jesus referred to the kind of death he was to die.
READ: The first reading describes the forging of the new covenant where commandments would no longer be engraved on stones, but in the innermost part of human beings, in their heart. This prophecy of Jeremiah began to be fulfilled at Easter, when Jesus offered himself on the cross for the salvation of humankind, was resurrected to join his Father in heaven and gave us His Spirit, His strength. This is affirmed in our gospel today as it shows that the death of Jesus is actually a manifestation of His love. The second reading invites us to follow Christ along His journey. Though it may be difficult, He went through it because of love.
REFLECT: The one who is great is the one who loves! Can you still love when you are despised, persecuted, and rejected? How can you love a friend who betrayed you? Jesus had gone through all these difficulties and trials because of his obedience to the love of the Father and this love has been forged deep within our hearts – a heart that forgives and loves immeasurably.
PRAY: Loving Father forgive me for the many times that I have not loved because I am jealous and discontented. Forgive me for the many times that I hate my brothers or sisters because I am so blinded by my self-determination. O my God, teach me to have the heart of Jesus, your Son, our Savior! Amen.
ACT: Take time to identify people whom you have hurt and have hurt you. Gather your strength in prayer and be guided by love to be able to forgive the people that have hurt you and be able to ask forgiveness for the people whom you have hurt.
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