Sunday, March 22, 2015

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, March 22, 2015 with Reflection

1ST READING - Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant and I had to show myself their master, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives how to know the Lord. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the Lord, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

P S A L M - Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
R: Create a clean heart in me, O God.
1 [3] Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 2[4Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. (R) 10 [12] A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 11 [13] Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. (R) 12 [14] Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing  spirit sustain in me. 13 [15] I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners shall return to you. (R)

2ND READING - Hebrews 5:7-9
In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Whoever serves me must follow me, says the Lord; and where I am, there also will my servant be.

John 12:20-33
20 Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast 21 came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. 27 “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. 31 Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” 33 He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.



A group of Greeks came with a request, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” Do we still make that same request? Perhaps we even received that same request from people who see us serving in Church or actively involved in a community or parish organization.

       What do we do to help such seekers?

       We can take a hint from the Apostle Philip, who was the one who first received the request. In the Gospel, it is stated, “Philip went and told Andrew, then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.”

       That’s it — something like a ripple effect or a chain reaction. We don’t have to do it all alone anyway. That’s why there’s community, a place where we are there for one another. Together, we draw near to Jesus — our only goal. He said, “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”

       “I will draw everyone to myself” — including Greeks and Galileans, including seekers and searchers, active and passive; including the likes of us, poor servants of the Lord. Jesus Christ acts like a magnet — attracting, pulling, drawing all of us unto Himself. And this He does in a most unique way, in complete contrast with the ways of the world: through the “law,” that is, of dying and rising. “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”

       For Jesus, we are all worth dying for — and we are all worth rising for. Let us die with Jesus. And let us rise with Him. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you seek Jesus? How?
Lord Jesus, let me seek You with all my heart and let me find You.

St. Nicholas Owen, pray for us.

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