Readings: Jer. 31:31-34; Psalm 51: 3-4,12-13, 14-15; Hebrews 5: 7-9; John 12:20-33

wheatThe time has come for the Kingdom of God to be recognized as fully present in our world. Do I stand with Jesus and joyfully proclaim the Word of God to all of God’s people? Am I willing to be like the grain of wheat and die to my own selfishness and sin so that others may have life? Will I accept the Father’s will even if it is not where I want to go or be at the moment?

Had Mary, a simple peasant girl, allowed her fear and confusion to paralyze her, she could have said no to God’s request. But her faith and trust provided courage and enabled her to be the vessel that carried Jesus into our world. Jesus, though troubled by what lay before him, did not turn and walk away. Instead he continued on the path he had begun to walk in obedience to the Father’s will.

Do I prefer the ways of the world over the glory of God’s kingdom, or am I prepared to stand up to the temptations that are thrown across my path and ask Jesus to be with me and help me? Whether or not Jesus knew the type of death that he was going to die, the pain, suffering and humiliation that would befall him, he continued to preach love and equality for all of God’s creation. He did not blindly obey the rules, but sought to change them, and in so doing often angered the priests and temple elders. But this did not keep him from proclaiming the good news and facing the hard tasks. He stood up for what he believed and asked his followers to do the same. He did not accept the injustices he witnessed in his time, nor should we accept those in our world today. If I am Jesus’ servant then I believe that he is with me at all times, helping me to face the difficulties of my world. Jesus asks us today to recognize God’s presence in all people and to carry Jesus’ presence within myself as I attempt to live according to the gospel values.

Jesus knew that the hour for the Son of Man to be glorified was rapidly approaching, but before the glory of the resurrection there were some very dark and difficult days ahead. Was he “up for the task?” Could his loving Father really expect him to face such difficulty? But, like so many that Jesus healed, he knew that his faith and trust would save him —not from the suffering and death, but rather from the power of darkness and despair.

Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. (Jn. 12:26) The hour of glory is soon at hand.

sr-m-blumleinSister Maryellen Blumlein, who formerly taught English and Religion in elementary and high school, is currently the Archive Manager for the Sis