The Good News for the day, March 18, 2018

The Fifth Sunday of Lent (35)

Some Greek-speaking Jews who had come to worship at the Passover holyday approached Philip (from Bethsaida in Galilee) asking him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip together went and told Jesus. Jesus responded, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be given his full significance—to be “glorified.” The truth is: unless a kernel of grain drops to the ground and dies, it stays what it has been– a kernel of grain; if it dies, though, it proves very fruitful. Whoever loves the life lived up till now loses it! Whoever disdains that life in this world will keep it into a permanent one. Whoever attends to me must come along after the way I go; where I am, there also will any attendant of mine be. The Father will cherish anyone who attends to me. “I am agitated right now, and I have something to say. But what should I say? ‘Father, spare me from this hour’? No, it was for this end that I have come into this moment. Father. Let people know your significance!” Then a voice came from the Other World, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” The group there heard it and said, “what we heard was thunder;” others said, “A messenger from God has spoken to him.” Jesus responded: “This voice has not come for my sake but for yours. Right now is a crisis-times for this whole world; right now, the force in control of this world will start on its way out. And when I am lifted from the earth, I will attract everyone to myself.” (He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.) (John 12)

The picture of rising out of this world – as from a swamp, or quicksand, – is one we need to give thought to. When Jesus is raised on the cross, that is a rising from this world and, as we rise with him to the other world, that new world – that other world – offers you and me the meaning of life and what makes it worthwhile.

This world is attractive. Abandoning its values of anger, fear and greed, rejecting its bad habits and prejudices, resisting its comforts, overcoming whatever keeps us from courage, being bold when confronted with painful consequences – these changes are what we do to rise up on the cross alongside Jesus. Serious about Jesus, we embrace the hard part – the dying to self that enables rebirth to wonder and humility.

It is rewarding once you reject this world realizing how it has been womb- like in wanting to keep you there. The Other World is what is truly significant to your life. You become alive! Overcoming your old self enables you to live joyful in a way that you all never dreamed before. Agitated we may be also, but we embrace a new life.

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