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May 30th
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. March 29, 2009 - Sunday Meditation (His Death, Our Life!)
March 29, 2009 - Sunday Meditation (His Death, Our Life!) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Friday, 27 March 2009 06:43

T he “within” of Jesus is about to be “outed”. We say that what goes up must come down. So too, what is inside will be revealed eventually. For Jesus, what must go down will rise again; what must die for the world, will give life to the world.


Jeremiah 31:31-34

Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15

Hebrews 5:7-9

 John 12:20-33 N ow among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. (21) So these came to Philip, who was from Beth-sa'ida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." (22) Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. (23) And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. (24) Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (25) He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (26) If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him. (27) "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour'? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. (28) Father, glorify thy name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." (29) The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." (30) Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. (31) Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; (32) and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." (33) He said this to show by what death he was to die.  


 * Meditation by Larry Gillick, S.J. (Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality) 





pray in union with the prayer of the Church for this Sunday of Lent. Jesus loved this world enough to die for its salvation, but detested it enough not to be seduced by its downward-ways of choosing the meaning of life. We pray to receive that Love and His death as the great sign of that love. We pray also to be inspired by His gentle compassion and to be guided by His life of choosing selflessness as His personal style. We pray intently for the grace to die to our selfishness so that we might live more and more for the salvation of others.  




Jeremiah is known for his indictments against the House of Israel. In the past he has warned them about the consequences of being resistant to God’s law. We have heard in other chapters his feeling very sorry for himself and for his having listened to the word of God.  


In these verses however, and in the entire chapter, Jeremiah is quite energetic and excited about what he now hears from God and is speaking to the people in their captivity. Something new is going to happen and it is a promise from God to make a new covenant with the whole people of Israel. It will be new, different and lead to life. What is new is the word “within”. There is a new emphasis on interiority.  


The Spirit of God will inspire each person to know what the proper response is. In the former relationship with God, externals were everything and they had to be taught culticly.  


The new covenant will not be written on stone, but within the hearts of the covenanted people. God promises to forgive the “evil-doers “and remember not their sins. God had promised Noah that when the sins of the people gathered the clouds together for a flood, God would see the rainbow and relent. Now in this new and latest covenant edition of love, God will see deep inside their hearts and see the covenant embedded there and recall the faithfulness God promised. That “within” covenant remains even though the external execution of response may be imperfect.  God does not give up on Israel’s becoming God’s people and their allowing God to be their “master”. This is a promise of great consolation and relief for those in captivity for their pasts. “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” Jesus is about to be seen or “glorified” by not only the Greeks who are in Jerusalem for the Passover, but by us as well.  


Next week we will begin watching Jesus while holding our palms. Jesus, in today’s Gospel indicates that the “hour” for His glorification has arrived. He says of Himself that, like a grain of wheat which must die to its being just a grain of wheat is planted in the ground in order to bring forth food, so Jesus Himself must receive His hour of dying so as to bring forth life.  


The dying is the great time of “seeing” Jesus. Jesus sees this “hour” as the great act of serving God’s people. This is almost an exact pre-lecture of what Jesus will tell the Apostles after washing their feet in the next chapter. Those who desire to follow Jesus will have some dying to do so that they might serve God’s people.  We then hear Jesus in a prelude of His prayer of agony in the Garden of Sorrows. His being faithful has a great cost and the hour of his paying the price is near. He receives comfort from a voice from heaven, but Jesus says that it is not for His sake, but for the comforting of those who will follow His way of loving the world by dying to its ways and for its salvation. The “within” of Jesus is about to be “outed”.  


We say that what goes up must come down. So too, what is inside will be revealed eventually. For Jesus, what must go down will rise again; what must die for the world, will give life to the world. For Jesus, his being Servant has been His interior and through the “signs” in John’s Gospel, we “see Jesus” from the inside and the out.



visited recently, the L’Arche Community of Daybreak, in Toronto. Larche is a community of communities around the world dedicated to the dignity and well-being of its mentally-challenged “Core Members”. I was privileged to be a small part of Daybreak thirty years ago. Many of the Core Members, (Residents), are still thriving there and still remember me. One striking feature of the wonderful women and men who have lived there is they have little sense of time. They were glad to see me, hugged me, welcomed me back, but when they left for their jobs they didn’t say good bye or ask when I would return.  


They also did not say thank you to the Assistants who made their lunches and who would welcome them back to their communities for dinner. The Assistants serve from their insides and die to the worldly way of being paid in words or money. Their insides, their “withins” come out in the gestures of faithful patience and love they live their “hour” one moment at a time, as each day breaks. I am sure they would love hearing a voice from heaven once in a while telling them that God was grateful. Maybe they do.  


The Core Members are timeless in their affection, but they did not say anything about seeing me later or “Thanks for coming”. The affection of the Assistants is timeless as well.  As servants, washing feet, floors, faces, is how they care for the Body of Christ. God’s love is timeless as well, as Jesus continues encouraging us to follow His ways as we wash tears away, dirt away, memories away. This “world” of which Jesus speaks is also “within” us and we want a “Thank you” now and then and a warm payment of celebration or glorification in its ways. Jesus was glorified and His timeless gesture of salvation was not greeted with any thanks then. His “Hour” by which we receive eternal life is the One Act of Thanksgiving expressed in His whole Life and validated on His being raised up to the Cross. He became grateful for Who He was even to the death on that Cross of Glory. “Create a clean heart in me, o God.” Ps. 51, 3  


Supplementary Reading 

Keep on Believing  


He has reconciled you . . . to present you holy in his sight . . . if you continue in your faith – Colossians 1:22-23



Where is God when you can't see or feel him? Has he deserted you? Does he only help those who have more faith? Such questions erode your faith at times when you need it the most.  


The truth is: God's love and power remain unlimited. He can help every person simultaneously. How, then, can you keep on believing when you can't see God? You can find encouragement from the faith of survivors of the Holocaust who kept on believing even when their faith was sorely challenged. Ann Frank wrote in her diary, "I still believe that people are good at heart."  


On the wall of a hiding place was scrawled this poem: I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I cannot feel it. I believe in God, even when he is silent. 


* * *  Pay extra attention this week to things that help you believe in God's love and power even when your faith is being challenged.  * * *  


Note: This excerpt was taken from the "Power for Life Daily Devotional"  




PRAY as if everything depended on HIM. ACT as if everything depended on YOU.   


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