Audio Readings March 22, 2015 5th Sunday of Lent

Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-15
Hebrews 5:7-9

John 12:20-33

Whoever serves me must follow me. (John 12:26)

You might wonder whether Jesus is giving the cold shoulder to these Greeks. They seem anxious to talk to him, but they can’t seem to get a word in. Upon hearing that they want to see him, Jesus gives an enigmatic response: “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit” (John 12:24). What kind of an answer is that?

Actually, it’s the right answer! These Gentile converts to Judaism have come to worship at the Passover feast, but Jesus is saying that their Passover will not happen until after his resurrection. He is the “grain of wheat” who will be a sacrifice for sin. His death was necessary so that he could produce “much fruit” in the form of salvation for everyone. No one will be excluded, not even these Gentiles!

Today we can celebrate the fact that we too were once outsiders but are now a part of the “in crowd.” Most of the people reading these words are Gentiles, not a part of the chosen people with whom God first made his covenant. We “once were far off” but have been brought near to God “by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). We are his adopted children, and there is no better family to be part of.

A question to reflect on, then, is “How welcoming am I to those I may consider outsiders?” We all have some notion of who belongs in church and who doesn’t: that old man who never seems to smile. That couple whose kids can’t sit still at Mass. That young man who seems too “liberal” or that older woman who seems too “conservative.” They are all part of our family. They have all been grafted into Christ along with us. May we treasure each of them just as much as Jesus treasures us!

“Thank you, Lord, for welcoming me into your family. Teach me how to be just as welcoming. May I exclude no one from receiving my attention, consideration, and friendship.”~WAU



About gemdk

I am a cradle Catholic who made my first Holy Communion over 5o years ago at All Saints Catholic Church in Houston,TX in 1961. Went to Mass every Sunday as a child and teen and then young adult. Fell away for about 12 years in the late 80's, early 90's and then realized what was missing in my life was my Catholic upbringing and faith. Found my home at Sacred Heart in Crosby. Filling up the void I had for those 12 years in more ways than I can imagine, loving every minute of it. But this blog is not about me as much as it is for me and anyone who wants/needs to hear the word of God. I'm merely the instrument God uses to post the readings.
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