Sunday March 21

The Gospel of John 12:20-33

If a grain of wheat falls on the ground and dies, it yields a rich harvest.

Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus.’ Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus. Jesus replied to them:

‘Now the hour has come

for the Son of Man to be glorified.

I tell you most solemnly,

unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,

it remains only a single grain;

but if it dies,

it yields a rich harvest.

Anyone who loves their life loses it;

anyone who hates their life in this world

will keep it for the eternal life.

If a person serves me, they must follow me,

wherever I am, my servant will be there too.

If anyone serves me, my Father will honour them.

Now my soul is troubled.

What shall I say:

Father, save me from this hour?

But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.

Father, glorify your name!’

A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’

People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder; others said, ‘It was an angel speaking to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.

‘Now sentence is being passed on this world;

now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.

And when I am lifted up from the earth,

I shall draw all people to myself.’

By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die.

Just as a grain of wheat falls to the earth in order to fulfil its potential and purpose, Jesus is lifted up from the earth in order to full-fill his, so that he may draw all people into his love. It is at the cross that we will experience the mystery of God’s love and gift of everlasting life.

As Mary Ward contemplated Jesus on the cross, she understood with felt knowledge this mystery of Jesus love and promise of everlasting life. Her experience was one of union with Jesus in suffering; letting go into the mystery of God’s love, knowing that everything is of God and for God.

this remains still as present and I find a great desire to die before that Gods glory and this deceit of my ability, may the better appear; but it seems my security, and best: to rest in Gods will, which I do and will forever. Mary Ward’s retreat notes 1619.

live, die and rise with them was all the aim of Mary Ward – an excerpt of the writing carved on her gravestone.”