5th Sunday of Lent - Year B - 18th March, 2018
Where to begin?
We have the old clichéd story, told against ourselves in Ireland of asking directions of a stranger and his answer comes back: “Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here in the first place!” But, where I am, is the starting point. It’s only one week before Passion Sunday and I need some direction. Do I really want to see Jesus as these men who came up from Greece today to the festival in Jerusalem. Perhaps, as the song goes, I would prefer just to take a look at him, but “from a distance!”
The introduction comes with a cost
These Greeks wanted to see Jesus – in the language of the time it meant that they wanted to be with him. But the man they wished to be with is going to make huge demands.
Jesus lays out his stall - you are joining what may seem like a lost cause
Jesus is leaving public life. St. John has no Gethsemane account in his gospel. Gethsemane happened in the darkness – this same message of death to the world is given in broad daylight. He is going to die just like a grain of wheat but it is a death which will bring life just as the grain of wheat has the potential to fill a whole field of wheat one day.
Is this to be the year for me, finally, to see Jesus and to decide to live with him?
I will have to die to self-centredness to become love-centred. I will have to be obedient to life through accepting whatever suffering comes my way (The Letter to the Hebrews today states: “Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering). “Obedience” comes from the words “ob-audire” to listen deeply – listen to your deeper self.
The One big question What am I prepared to give up in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus this Holy Week and even live with him, if only for one hour? Perhaps a good place to start would be simply to repeat the mantra from now until Easter Sunday: "Sir, we want to see Jesus”. Make it your morning offering, your grace before meals, your prayer on the bus or the train, as you start a journey, or, your last prayer at night.
Fr. Michael McCullagh C.M.