Reflection: Fifth Sunday of Lent

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Jer.31:31-34; Ps.50; 2nd Reading – Heb.5:7-9; Gospel – Jn.12:20-33]

“WHEN I AM LIFTED UP…”

These are the words Jesus said when two of his disciples told him that some Greeks wanted to see him. Now, although they were Greeks by origin, even if we are not told so, it is most likely that they also followed the Jewish Religion: being “foreign” Jews, these Greeks knew the Scriptures (the Old Testament) and therefore lived according to what Scripture said.  That is why they “went up to worship at the festival”. They were foreigners but certainly not “pagans” for if they were pagans, they would not have gone to worship in the temple! At the same time, although they did not know Jesus, they had already heard something about him and so they wanted to see him. They knew Jesus was from Galilee and they asked one of his disciples to see him. This disciple happened to be Philip, another Galilean!

Philip then goes to another apostle from Galilee, Andrew, and together they go to Jesus. In the past, Philip (by himself) introduced Nathanael to Jesus, another apostle. Also, Andrew (by himself) introduced his brother Simon Peter to Jesus. But, in today’s particular occasion, these two – Philip and Andrew – are together (and therefore witnesses) in introducing these Greeks to Jesus.

It was this whole scenario that opened the possibility for Jesus to express himself in the way he did. Jesus is saying that there was no need of anyone anymore to introduce him or to give evidence or to witness to him to anyone. It was time for him to do it himself through which he was to be glorified. And this in a most strange way – through the Cross (and also through his Resurrection), through which He will be “lifted up from the earth”. It was Jesus himself through the Father to give witness to him, as God himself had always done through His word – in the Old Testament and the “Voice from Heaven”! Jesus’ glorification was no longer going to be through miracles or “signs” that he was performing, but “in his being lifted up”, that is in doing the Father’s will – to give life to all “through death and resurrection”.

All this is done for our sake. We can only have life if we are ready to stay with Jesus at all times, even in times of trouble as he himself stayed with the Father. It was through the Cross that Jesus was Risen from the death. This is what glorified Jesus – his Oneness with the Father! If this is so with Jesus, it can be so with us! Are we ready to create this oneness with Jesus? Are we ready to be glorified through Jesus? Are we ready to share his same experience?

Lord, you said that when you will be ‘lifted up from earth’ you shall draw all men to yourself. I would like to see you, to be drawn to you Lord. Give me the wisdom to do so and the gift to be “lifted up from earth” so as to be with you!  Thank You Lord!”

 

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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