Gospel Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year B – March 22nd 2015
Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.
Among 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! 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 -30
I knew a man who fought cancer to the end. And he took every type of possible healing. We all knew it wouldn’t work. I know another who just opened himself to it all and wouldn’t even take chemo. Different approaches to suffering. One fought it and the other accepted. I admired both of them.
Jesus – today – not easily accepting –but not resisting.
Many people go into hospital wondering about their illness and that pain might be close. That’s part of life. I meet a lot in the parish who are going for tests. It’s a fearful time, confusing and sometimes draws us into more faith. We can transform our pain into suffering, and find some great graces in it. There is the challenge to find new life in it. Pain becomes suffering. Jesus doesn’t want the chalice of the garden, but he allows it become fully part of him so that his inner strength is big! It doesn’t mean a simplistic approach. But it means an acceptance of what is our life. Being open to darkness in life. Not trying always to fight the demons of pain of any sort in life.
The Father is near
Jesus found in his passion that God the father is near. This can be our way, and we can find that through helping each other. We can help people at times of suffering – listen, be present. We find this in our hearts, not in books – That we can grow through suffering and we realise on a bad day that peace invades the soul, or that there is a bright light in the darkness.
Maybe this week whenever we think of God, or say his name, or question him, just imagine a light around you..say nothing, just be open to the light.
Donal Neary SJ