By Fr. Andrew Kelly
FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT – MARCH 22, 2015
The believing community is both comforted and confronted by Sunday’s Gospel (John 12:20-33): “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
Comforted because Jesus’ hour of glorification is Jesus’ embrace of death, resurrection and exaltation for the sake of others. Confronted because Jesus’ “hour” and embrace is now the community’s “hour” and embrace.
Sunday’s Gospel continues: “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
The community becomes a grain of wheat that dies to life as life is for the sake of Jesus’ more abundant eternal life, now radiating from the community’s servant life.
For the community this is important because Jesus says: “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.”
If the community is not seen and experienced as servant, it remains just a grain of wheat manifesting Jesus’ absence instead of Jesus’ presence.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)