TEXT: The Holy Gospel According to Saint John 12:20-33
The strongest cry of the heart of mankind is the desire to see Jesus.
We were made for him.
St. Augustin wrote -- "You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you." (Confessions)
It was evident to me for many years before I came Home to the Church (the fullness of the faith) as I read Augustin's words that my heart desired to know God as best as I could amongst the separated brothers and sisters in Christ. I desired within my deepest recesses of the heart to seek out God in Holy Scriptures, the God who sought me out and brought me to know Jesus Christ, my Savior and Lord. Within me was that which God had promised Abraham, the Seed through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed. (Cf. Genesis 12, 15)
In a similar manner there were those who were the people amidst the separated nations from Israel who sought the God who came searching for them in Immanuel. Today, we see Philip, the Evangelist, meeting with these Greeks. Today, these "seekers" show to us the desire that is to be ours in seeking Jesus with the whole heart.
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
21 So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-saida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
"Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
How these words should be on our lips each day. "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
So often, our lips and hearts desire anything but Jesus. There is a message for us as we hear others say what should be upon our hearts.
This is the CALL to the VOCATION of a new evangelism.
WE are at the beginning of a new evangelism that will shale the world to its roots and bring many fruits off the "tree of humanity." The baskets will become filled, even as St. Peter pulled the largest load of fishes to the shore. (Cf. John 21:11).
Now, the evangelism begins. There is the desire of -- "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
Now, that is our "cue." Listen to what happens...
22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus.
23 And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.
In the Seed of Abraham. Now, all the nations of the earth would be blessed.
How willingly Mercy is ready to be "glorified" by the humility of the Holy Cross. Jesus said -- "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified." This was apparently in response to "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."
There is more.
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Death and Fruit go together in the plan of Salvation.
In the Garden of Eden, the first Eva, the mother of all living - brought death. Now, Eve, the Mother of God (Mary who stayed with St. John, the writer of this Gospel), bears the Son of God, that Seed ("grain of wheat") that came to earth to die in order that fruit may come from the Gentiles (Greeks).
Yet, there is a cost to this discipleship, and, we must follow our Master.
25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26 If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
"Sir, we desire to see Jesus."
Then, we are called (vocare) to follow him.
But, where shall we follow him to in life?
Jesus tells us more.
27 "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.
28 Father, glorify thy name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
29 The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Very God and Very Man spoke these words. I suppose that if it had been possible for Jesus to be saved from the Passion, that the Holy Trinity One God would have done so. But, it was not so, for following the words of Jesus, "No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify thy name," the voice from heaven proclaimed -- "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."
How frail we are when we hear the "thunder" of God's voice.
Our hearing is dull and we have problems with "interpretation."
30 Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine."
Yet, the message is clear --
31 Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out;
32 and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."
33 He said this to show by what death he was to die.
My beloved friends, Satan is a defeated foe, "cast out." Revelation 12 speaks of this when we see the vision of the Woman clothed with the Sun, moon and stars.
Why is Satan defeated?
It is because of JESUS and the work he has done on the Cross.
Now, beloved, he draws all men to himself in the Holy Eucharist. He draws the rich, the poor, the slave, and the free. Men and women, children - ALL to HIMSELF.
I cannot help but say that we have that lovely picture of this "drawing" unto himself in that vision of the Woman in the desert (Revelation 12) with the remnant of her offspring being drawn with her to the place prepared for her by God in the wilderness.
God calls the whole Church (his "ecclesia", his "called out ones") us to be with him forever.
Let us listen and follow him with Mary, the Mother of the Church.