Thursday, 18 March 2021 17:04

A new bond of love & life

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5LBWeb400Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus.’ Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus. Jesus replied to them:

‘Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for the eternal life.
If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.
Now my soul is troubled.
What shall I say:
Father, save me from this hour?
But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.
Father, glorify your name!’

A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’
People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder;
others said, ‘It was an angel
speaking to him.’
Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.

Now sentence is being passed on this world;
now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I shall draw all men to myself.’

By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die.
(John 12:20-33)

 

The first reading this Sunday tells us that our journey to transfiguration happens from within, by our hearts being changed. The prophet Jeremiah looks forward to a new covenant between God and his people. This covenant will not be written in stone, but in human hearts. This new covenant cannot be broken since God always forgives and never remembers our sins. It is in our hearts that we learn the truth about the strength of God’s love for us and recognise ourselves as God’s own people.

There is a lovely phrase in the preface of Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation I which captures this sense: You have bound the human family to yourself through Jesus your Son, our Redeemer, with a new bond of love so tight that it can never be undone.

The words of John’s Gospel help answer the question about how this covenant is made. God’s love is revealed in a weak and suffering human being through whom God offers his own life as the pledge of love and forgiveness which seals this new covenant.

When some Greeks come asking to see Jesus he knows his preaching is complete and that ‘the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified’.

Unless the grain of wheat dies, it remains all alone. If it dies it yields a ‘rich harvest’. Jesus’ death yields a rich harvest of followers with whom and in whom he is always present. We are not left to make the journey from temptation to transfiguration alone - Jesus is our constant companion. He is the way by which we get from one to the other.

Faith in (seeing) Jesus, draws us out of temptation and into transfiguration – to be the living presence of God in the world, the meeting places between human need and God’s compassion, to be light and life for one another.

If we, too, ‘want to see Jesus’ we must look into our own hearts. It is there that God writes his law of love in the person of his Son. It is there that we discover the presence of One who loves us beyond death and who gently refashions us into the image and likeness of his Son.

You can download our Celebrating At Home liturgy for this Sunday here.

pdf Celebrating At Home 5th Sunday of Lent [PDF] (247 KB)
default Celebrating At Home 5th Sunday of Lent [ePub] (783 KB)

 

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