John 3:14-21 4th Sunday of Lent. Today is Laetare Sunday or the Sunday of Rejoicing
March 13, 2021
Mark 15:1-39 Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Hosanna to the Son of David, the King of Israel. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
March 27, 2021

John 12:20-33 5th Sunday of Lent

5th Sunday of Lent
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Hebrews 5:7-9
John 12:20-33

A. Text/Context
• During the time of Jesus, the Jews were already very popular when it comes to the practice of their religion
• What makes the religion attractive to many people is because they believe in one God. In theology we call it monotheism or the belief of one God
• And today in the gospel among the people who are attracted to their religion are the Greeks
• We all know that the Greeks worship all kinds of God and they find the Jewish religion attractive because they have very precise rules and principles governing human life
• In other words because the religion is highly established, people have a very high moral standard and the Greeks are impressed about this
• John mentions in the gospel that some Greeks had come to worship at the Passover feast and they wanted to see Jesus
• The gospel today tells us of the two sayings of Jesus and apparently these sayings are meant to welcome the non-Jews like the Greeks into the religion of the new converts which we know today as Christianity
• Jesus said: 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
• This is actually an old Jewish proverb or saying and this is used by John to explain the great advantages of the death of Jesus on the cross
• We all know that if a seed falls to the ground it remains just a seed if it does not react with the soil and so nothing happens
• But if it reacts with the nutrients of the soil the seed dies because it is not a seed anymore it now blooms into a plant and it grows and it bears much fruit. The seed has totally changed its physical appearance
• When Jesus died he was all alone in the ground and even his disciples all ran away out of fear
• But after the death of Jesus, after the resurrection the believers have multiplied and they now include the Greeks
• And the greatest mystery is that salvation became possible not only to the Jews but to the entire people in the whole world
• The second proverb gives the same message: Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life
• If supposing Jesus was not willing to be crucified because he can always escape the crucifixion because he has all the power to do it, then there will be no salvation because no sacrifice is offered. All of us will not have eternal life
• Whoever takes care so much of his own life without taking even a little consideration on the lives of others will lose it because such life is not worthy to merit the gift of salvation

B. Human Situation
• So the gospel today has a very beautiful message for us as to how we relate this in our lives as Christians
• The message today is actually a war against ourselves, how to overcome ourselves. How to overcome pride and selfishness
• The seed needs to die in order to grow. The same thing is required of us we need to die first of our pride of our arrogance in order that humility and lowliness can grow
• If we take so much care of our own life without thinking anymore of the needs of others, we become so selfish and God will look at us with so much disdain and certainly God does not reward the selfish
• And so we lose our own life because we already forget God’s other children, our brothers and sisters who are in need
• How would a good father or mother would treat his son who lives a very comfortable life but does not even care to lift a finger to help his brothers and sisters who are in great need because they are not so successful in life
• The parents may just cry because of the selfishness of their child to their other children
• The situation seems to be very despondent. But even if there will be just one person in the family who is so kind and generous, the rest of the family is redeemed
• That is what Jesus did, he gave his life for all the sins of the people. Jesus is the sacrificial lamb

C. Challenge
• There is just one message that the gospel is challenging us today
• We have to die from the sin of pride, arrogance and selfishness in order to grow in humility and charity
• Like a seed that falls to the ground, it must be nourished by the nutrients of the soil in order to grow
• And that is the time as the prophet Jeremiah puts it in the 1st reading that God will write the laws into our every heart. He will be our God and we will be his people
• After the death of sin comes the glory of life and we will all bloom to a full flower bearing much fruit

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John 12 verse 20-33

John 12 verse 20-33

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