March 29, 2009
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Jer 31:31-34 Reading II Heb 5:7-9 Gospel Jn 12:20-33
Following Jesus Who Learned Obedience
Are you ready to die? Are you aware that you die not for me, but for eternal life?
Today, we meet the Lord who no longer remembers our sin, but makes a new covenant with us. He reminds us that it is not the same covenant He made with the Israelites when they were led out of Egypt. He wrote His law upon our hearts. He is saying that it should be so evident that we need to speculate no more.
Jesus said that a grain of wheat produces much fruit when it falls to the ground and dies. He is reminding us of this today. We know it is true for a grain of wheat, but do not want to apply it to ourselves. We are afraid of falling or dying – just the thought of it makes us fearful. We are not sure of the outcome. That’s why Jesus Himself became the example.
He doesn’t want us to be bystanders. He says, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” (John 12:25). He goes on to say, “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.” (John 12:26). In other words, we need to trust His covenant written upon our hearts through baptism.
St. Ignatius of Loyola founded the Jesuits on this very principle: only when we make sense of our own experience and understanding of God can we follow His new Covenant wholeheartedly and discover the life of His wisdom. This has become the principle and foundation for the life of those who follow Ignatian spirituality.
I pray that we will open ourselves to the indescribable and imageless experience of God, who will produce fruit in our lives.
Let’s follow Jesus who learned obedience.