Jn 12: 20-33
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish 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. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.
“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”
Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
I Want to See Jesus
We are near the “end” of Jesus’ time. His “hour” has come. We are in Jerusalem, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and people are flocking to Jesus, believing in him. Some “Greeks” say “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Then we have Philip and Andrew telling Jesus that people want to see him and his response is not, “Well, bring them over here,” but a long speech about losing one’s life, grains of wheat, servanthood, etc. Not a very straight forward answer to a simple question.
What John is telling his community and yes, us, is that if you want to “see” Jesus, look at what his servants are doing. I see Jesus often in the parishioners of the parish who give so much of themselves. This past week I especially saw Jesus in a woman who has raised a family and worked for decades at our food pantry and at 95 years old says she needs to retire because she “just can’t do the stairs as well as she used to.”
Look at the people around you and perhaps, even at ourselves, who serve Jesus and are where he is. Bernadette Farrell’s song “All That Is Hidden” encapsulates much of this Gospel passage. The final verse speaks to me of how we can see Jesus.
If you would rise with me,
rise through your destiny:
do not refuse the death which brings you life,
for as the grain in the earth
must die for rebirth,
So I have planted your life deep within mine.
I invite you to listen to the entire song to reflect and pray on today’s Gospel.
—Fr. Jim Caime, SJ, is the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Kansas City, MO.
Fr. Jim Caime, SJ, invites you to pray with this video of the song “All That is Hidden” by Bernadette Farrell, found here.
—The Jesuit Prayer team