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GRASPING THE ESSENCE OF JESUS

FOR SUNDAY 03.17


Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince 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 show the kind of death he was going to die. 


JOHN 12, 20-33 (NIV)


Almost everyone among us yearns for an encounter that will change the way we feel, our perspective on life, the world, and ourselves. And then, an opportunity arises. In the Gospel according to Saint John, we encounter Greeks who desired to meet the Master. Turning to Philip, they say: "we wish to see Jesus." The Greek verb "idein" in this context means "to see and understand." The Greek protagonists, seekers of wisdom and truth, making their way through a crowd of cheering people, desired more than just to shake hands with the famous Jesus. Their pursuit of a personal encounter with the Messiah reflects the universal longing of the human heart not only to see but also… to understand.


 

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