Saturday, March 24, 2012
5TH SUNDAY OF LENT – B
5TH SUNDAY OF LENT – B
Jer 31:31-34 / Heb 5:7-9 / Jn 12:20-33
The time is coming—it is Yahweh who speaks—when I will forge a new
covenant with the people of Israel and the people of Judah. It will
not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by
the hand and led them out of Egypt. For they broke my covenant
although I was their Lord. This is the covenant I shall make with
Israel after that time: I will put my Law within them and write it on
their hearts; I will be their God and they will be my people. And they
will not have to teach each other, neighbor or brother, saying: `Know
the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the greatest to the
lowliest, for I will forgive their wrongdoing and no longer remember
Christ, in the days of his mortal life, offered his sacrifice with
tears and cries. He prayed to him who could save him from death, and
he was heard because of his humble submission. Although he was Son, he
learned through suffering what obedience was, and once made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for those who obey him.
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 keep it for 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 I have come to this hour to face all this.
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 to myself." With these words Jesus
referred to the kind of death he was to die.
In this last Sunday of Lent, we move closer to commemorate the passion
and death of Jesus. It is good to ask for the grace we want to receive
during the Holy Week. We have one of the best prayers in the Gospel
and it came from the outcast gentiles – the Greeks: "Sir, we would
like to see Jesus." This simple prayer could help us walk through the
Holy Week as we remember Jesus' ultimate expression of his love for
us, offering his life for our salvation.
When Philip and Andrew accompanied some Greeks to Jesus in their
desire to know him, we are surprised by Jesus' answer, "Amen, amen, I
say to you, 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." It seems that Jesus is not connecting with the Greeks. Their
request is simply "to see," but Jesus' response is "to die."
On second thought, Jesus is actually answering the Greeks! He wants
them to see him in a different but life-changing perspective. Usually
when we pray to Jesus, we want to see him in his divinity, a bright
shining light, defender of the oppressed, a miracle worker and healer,
a God who always answers our prayers. When we come to him, we want to
hear his victory over evil, pain, and suffering.
But Jesus is introducing a different him in our gospel. It goes
against our expectation of a victorious God and challenges us to
journey with him into an undiscovered, unpopular, and less traveled
road known as "dying to ourselves."
To see God is to die from our own selfishness and self-centeredness by
carrying our daily crosses. It is easy for us to see God when
everything is okay, when we have money, when we are healthy, when we
have friends, and when we and our family are well secured. But we tend
to lose our sight and become blind when things are falling apart. We
hardly see Jesus in our difficulties and trials. We even question the
love of God when we are humiliated, insulted, betrayed, and left
alone. In moments like these, abandoning God becomes a very tempting
option. Sad to say, many of us are still infant Christians.
Ironically, in the realm of spirituality, dying is the only way of
In the Gospel of Mark, it was ironic that a non-believer Roman officer
saw something while Jesus was hanging on the cross. In the midst of
humiliation, defeat, and death, he saw something and proclaimed his
faith, "Truly, this man was really the Son of God." (Mark 15:39). He
saw Jesus' real identity on the cross.
Let's be with Jesus in his journey to life this coming Holy Week. See
him hanging on the cross. Feel his struggles in obeying God's will.
Feel his pain. He was abandoned, betrayed, humiliated, and insulted.
But he willingly carried his cross until death for our salvation.
As the Greeks said, "We want to see Jesus." Do you want to see him
also? We want to. But we have to realize that seeing comes at a cost.
It will cost us our lives but it will save us (John 12:25).
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Tung-Jou Sheh
- Mitchell, Brian, Elena, Michael G, Kristen, Margaret B, Ron S, Linda
O, Mary Ann & Delores
… for the personal intentions of
- Dana, Eugene R, Nancy, Rita & Pam, Ben, Eve
- Miguel Fule, Marga Lapid and the Lyceum of the Philippines Law
.. Wedding Anniversary: Carlos and Emma Quicho
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Amelia Zara Digal
- Baby and Clarita Quicho, Rosita and Maximino Ilagan, Natividad and
Herm genes Diangkinay
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Sharlyn Rose Go Kaw
- Birthday: Mrs. Esther A. Vibal
- Birthday: Ramona Chan Young
- In Memoriam (+): Stewart (1961-1993) & Frances Valerie Liao
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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