March 25, 2012 – Fifth Sunday of Lent
Jer. 31:31-34; Ps. 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15; Heb. 5:7-9; Jn. 12:20-33
In today’s Gospel, Jesus hones in on the sacrificial element of Christian living. He explains that a grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die in order to bear great fruit – to become the wheat it was meant to be. Then, Christ makes some startling remarks. He says, “whoever loves His life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.”
That is not to say that we are to hate life here and now and solely focus on the afterlife. After all, god has placed us here, so He clearly sees fit for us to live an earthly life. He has clearly not called us to heaven quite yet. But what Christ’s words communicate to us is a sobering reality still. We are not to be living for ourselves and the things of this world. Rather, we were created to know, love and serve the Lord. We were created to go beyond ourselves and selflessly give in love and service to others. When we do so, we, like the wheat that gives of itself in “death” will bear great fruit.
God has given us innumerable gifts with which we can do so. It is our job to reflect on those many gifts and determine how He is calling each one of us to use them for His greater glory.