“It is time for the Son of Man to be glorified…Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies…but if it dies it bears much fruit.” (John 12:23-24). The concept of glory is elusive. John uses the term to refer to the divine presence manifesting itself in the world and the recognition of the supreme presence by a faithful person. The deepest human instinct is for survival, thus we seek power and possessions to secure it. Jesus, too, was tempted to make the preservation of His own life His supreme value, but he chose to commit Himself to the Father’s will even if it meant He would die. The crucial hour when we must choose either to love our life in this world above everything else or to love our life in God comes in our particular circumstances. There are immediate implications in our decisions. To define our ultimate meaning in relation to any reality but God is to live in a state of anxiety because that finite reality, however precious, may pass away at any moment.
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This Sunday’s Gospel reading (Jn 3:14-21) contains a most consoling and beautiful message: “God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, that those who believe in Him may not perish but may have eternal life” The infinite mercy of God was radically shown to us in Christ Jesus. We experienced through the sacrificial Servant-Son of God the abundant riches of the divine love and promise of eternal life. The liberation of all peoples from sin and death through Christ’s passion and death on the cross is the ultimate demonstration of that divine love.
We must love and show reverence to the temple of God – our churches, everyone (God’s living temples) and to His Church, of whom we are sons and daughters. We are called to be courageous members; Christianity calls us to take a stand. In our age of relativity amidst a sea of information and disinformation, we must plant our feet on solid ground, hold fast and be zealous and passionate for God and His House. So many attacks are made against our Mother Church, and sadly, sometimes we are among those who make the attack. Are we ready to defend Her? We are not called to take up a whip, but to defend the Church in our words, in conversations and encounters with people. Are we willing to act courageously despite the possibility of getting diverse reactions and even of being misunderstood, just as Jesus was?