Psalm: 94
Gospel: John 12:20-36
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from On the Holy Spirit by St. Basil

Over the last few Sundays, the Church has been reading from the Gospel of John. In each of the readings–The Wedding at Cana, Jesus and Nicodemus, Jesus and the Samaritan woman, Jesus and the man born blind, and Jesus raising Lazurus–there is always mention of Jesus’ “time”.

Initially Christ is reluctant, telling his mother that the hour has not yet come. He warns Nicodemus that the time is coming when all people must be born from above. In speaking with the Samaritan woman, he states that the time is coming and is now here when all people will not worship God on mountains but rather in Spirit and in truth.

The final two miracles act as an unmistakable sign that the Kingdom of God and the reversal of the status quo has officially begun.

Now….some Greeks ask to see Jesus. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like Jesus grants their request. These are the words that come out of his mouth:

‘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. (John 12:23-24)

Here our Lord makes a definitive statement…..the hour has come and somehow it involves death and bearing fruit. It may not seem like it at first, but this cryptic statement actually answers the Greeks request……..if they want to see Jesus…..see him as he truly is……they need to see him like this:

Only in seeing the Lord and Friend who dies can we really come to know God. There is abundant life yes…..but first we face the shadow of the Cross. +