Jesus tapped me on the shoulder and said, Bob, why are you resisting me? I said, I'm not resisting you! He said, You gonna follow me? I said, I've never thought about that before! He said, When you're not following me, you're resisting me. --Bob Dylan
Gospel text (Jn 12,20-33):
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast
came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee,
and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus."
Philip went and told Andrew;
then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.
Jesus answered them,
"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
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.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.
"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.
Father, glorify your name."
Then a voice came from heaven,
"I have glorified it and will glorify it again."
The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder;
but others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Jesus answered and said,
"This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.
Now is the time of judgment on this world;
now the ruler of this world will be driven out.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw everyone to myself."
He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.
There are two more weeks until Easter. Do we expect to meet the risen Christ this Easter?
The Greek word translated "die" in John 12:24 literally means to "die away." Each day, we must die away from our selfishness. Jesus tells the Apostles: «Unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit» (Jn 12:24). When we think of Jesus' cross and our daily crosses (Lk 9:23), our souls are troubled (Jn 12:27). Like Jesus, we are tempted to pray that we will be saved from the cross rather than saved by the cross (Jn 12:27). Yet it is for the cross that we have come to this hour (Jn 12:27). Therefore, let us embrace our cross.
There is an old song which states: "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." We might paraphrase it: "Everybody wants the resurrection without the crucifixion, the glory without the cross, Easter without Lent."