meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.
Year B, Lent 5
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary Revised
John 12: 20-33
among those who went up to worship at the festival were
some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida
in Galilee, and said to him, Sir, we wish to see
Jesus. Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew
and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, 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. Those who love their
life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world
will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must
follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also.
Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.
Now my soul is troubled. And
what should I sayFather, save me from this
hour? No, it is for this reason that I have come
to this hour. Father, glorify your name. Then a
voice came from heaven, I have glorified it, and
I will glorify it again. The crowd standing there
heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, An
angel has spoken to him. Jesus answered, This
voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the
judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will
be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth,
will draw all people* to myself. He said this to
indicate the kind of death he was to die.
on John 12: 20-33
by Nan Stokes
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.
Jesus used this metaphor of nature to explain his saying that
those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their
life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Just as a
seed has to fall to earth and die before it lives again, so
we must give our life to produce the fruit God intends. In Psalm
51, the singer is asking God "to create in me a clean heart
and renew a right spirit within me", so that God's ways can
be taught to the wicked and sinners will return to God. Indeed,
in the passage from Jeremiah in the Old Testament, the Lord
says, "For I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their
sin no more." In the depths of Lent as we draw nearer to the
Passion of Jesus, those are hopeful words to ones who are striving
to lose their life and wondering how they can bear the fruit
that will make a difference.
To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Lent
Stokes (1929-2010), a former co-chair of MEESC (2002-2006),
was an active member of St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church,
Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 1997.
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