March 22, 2015 - 5th Sunday of Lent

posted Mar 15, 2015, 10:49 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated May 7, 2016, 10:30 PM ]

Gospel of John 12: 20-33

Kristenne’s Reflection

During the time of Lent, we often ask our fellow Catholics, “What are you going to give up?”

It is a seemingly simple notion, to sacrifice a bit of our indulgences and make room for God. But what happens after the Lenten season is over? Do we just pick up right back where we were before? Or are we changed somehow?

In this week’s gospel, as we approach Easter, we are reminded of how Jesus predicted his death and knew he had to die for us. He relates this to a grain of wheat and how a single kernel is nothing on its own, just a grain. But if that kernel dies and becomes a seed, it is able to produce much more with the nurture and care of its creator.

Our faith is very much like this. We take this journey through Lent and give up a piece of ourselves so that we can open ourselves up to do God’s work. But how do we do that? We know we have these gifts given to us. Our talents, our experiences, our growth. But how do we know what is God’s work?

The gospel says, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.”

I think that part of the gospel really lays it out for us. It reminds me of the quote Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” And I would add, that above all, to do those things with love.

It is a scary thing to not have control of your own life. To be lost, to be told/forced, and in Jesus’ case, to face death. But I think that every year we go through Lent, we lose a little of ourselves and gain a better part that we can use to serve the others around us.

We try at least. Whether it be serving food to the less fortunate, spending an extra hour to help younger ones with homework, or choosing a career where you serve others instead of yourself. We are transformed little by little and we become that seed that grows and spreads it to others, even after Lent.

Ali’s Reflection

This week’s gospel reading speaks to me as a message about our purpose in life. Jesus tries to tell his disciples that he is to die for the People and that “the Father will honor the one who serves me.” Essentially, I think Jesus is telling his disciples that they, too, will eventually live out their own lives for the purpose of being with God. The example Jesus uses of the single grain of wheat, is such a simple, yet profound symbol of this and of our faith because it’s one main purpose is to die in order to grow into new life. This, I believe, is the essential message of Lent and how each one of us tries to live our life.

When I think about my own purpose in life, I’m reminded of how hard it was trying to figure out who I was as a teenager. Trying to fit in with friends and trying to fulfill the expectations of my parents by doing well in school. I often felt lost but always knew that turning to God and my faith was a direction to help me find my way.

It’s one week before Holy Week. How have I taken the opportunity to reflect on my purpose now? What meaning can I make out of what’s been given to me, no matter how small or simple those gifts may be, even as little as a grain of wheat? How do I persist to daily be like Jesus and give myself to others for the sake of having a newer and better life?