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Minnesota Episcopal
Environmental
Stewardship
Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

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Lectionary Reflection

Year B, Lent 5
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary – Revised Common Lectionary
Gospel Reading

John 12: 20-33

Now 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 say—“Father, 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.

 

Reflection 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. (v. 24)

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.

 

 

Printable version

 

To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Lent 5

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal)
Lectionary
Revised Common
Lectionary
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Psalm

Psalm 51: 1-13 or
Psalm 119: 9-16

New Testament Lesson
Hebrews 5:(1-4) 5-10
Hebrews 5: 5-10
Gospel

John 12:20-33
(this page)

John 12:20-33
(this page)

 

Nan 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. We welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to our WebVerger or any MEESC member, or mail them to:


MEESC
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the website.

   

This page last updated 2012-02-23.

 
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