REFLECTION CAPSULE – Mar 21, 2021: Sunday

Burying bury ourselves with our Crucified Lord so that we can experience the Salvific Power of Christ, Who was willing to ‘be the Grain of Wheat that was sown, to bring Life to all!’”

(Based on Jer 31:31-34, Heb 5:7-9 and Jn 12:20-33: 5th Sunday of Lent, Year B)

Little Tommy – all of 7 years – enjoyed hearing stories of the past.

Once on a visit to his grandfather, he asked his knowledgeable grandpa to narrate a story. And Old Grandpa:
“What I want to tell today, is not a story actually, but something that existed a few decades back.

This is the wonderful phenomenon about a place called Handkerchief Pool in Yellowstone Park (in West US).

The speciality of this pool is this:
If you drop your handkerchief – dirtied and dusted – on its surface…
… down to the bottom will it descend

Then a current will draw it out of sight.

You will think you have lost your handkerchief.

But in a little while, the honest pool will hand back your handkerchief…
… neat, clean and unsoiled!

All that you need to do is to take an iron rod, pick up the handkerchief…
… and voila! You will find that all the stains are gone!”

Hearing this interesting aspect, Tommy’s mother replied:
“And Tommy, that’s also such a beautiful way for us to understand, that if we are willing to allow the ‘dirtied handkerchief of our life’ to be immersed into the pool of God’s Grace…
… we would emerge clean and neat!”

All of us are invited to immerse our life – stained and dirtied by sin…
… into the cleansing pool of God’s Grace

It is this “burying of ourselves” that will help us to experience the Salvific Power of Christ, Who was willing to “be the Grain of Wheat that was sown, to bring Life to all!”

We are on the last Sunday before the Holy Week.

The days of the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection are slowly approaching.

Some Greeks come to Jesus with a desire to meet the Lord and they express this longing to Philip.

Philip takes this appeal along to Andrew, who together approach Jesus with this request.

It’s interesting that both Philip and Andrew are Greek names…

The Greeks must have felt more inclined and at home to talk to them.

When Jesus hears this desire of the Greeks, He declares that “His Hour” has come…
He came to the world to draw all people to Himself

In Jn 12:19, the Pharisees had complained that “the whole world was running after Him”.

And here indeed, this fact was being exhibited, with the Greeks, who represented the Gentile world, seeking the Lord.

But the Lord, as always, with His Divine and Amazing Wisdom, confounded the earthly request with a higher purpose.

The Greeks had certainly expressed their desire to see the Lord.

But what was the motive?

It is not known clearly….
… maybe because they were amazed at Jesus’ teaching and sought Him as one of their own great Greek philosophers like Plato, Socrates, Aristotle etc
… maybe because they were fascinated at Jesus’ wonders and desired to meet Him expecting some miracles and healings.

But the Lord, always loves to bring attention to the real and needed aspects of life.

He tells them, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain. But if it dies, it produces much fruit” (Jn 12: 24)

With this example from nature, the Lord points out that Sacrifice is the true way to salvation and redemption.

There is no blessing, without making a sacrifice.
There is no salvation, without shedding of blood.
There is no redemption, without undergoing pain.

This group of Greeks – the Gentiles – also reminds us of three men from the East, the Magi, who were also Gentiles and had come to meet the Lord.

And there are striking similarities between them:

The Magi came, just a few days after the Saviour of the world was born…

The Greeks came, just a few days before the Saviour of the world was to die.

The Magi sought the Lord with these words, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews?” (Mt 2:2)…

The Greeks, sought the Lord with a similar desire, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus” (Jn 12:21)

The Magi’s desire was answered with a shocking humiliation: seeing the Son of God, stripped of all His glory and laid on the wood of an ordinary manger as a tiny babe.

The Greek’s desire would be also answered with a shocking humiliation: seeing the Saviour of the world, stripped of even His earthly protection, and laid on the wood of an ordinary cross as a miserable criminal!

Yes, suffering and pain was the way that the Lord had chosen to redeem and save the world!

The Cross was to be the ultimate symbol that was to draw all people to Himself (Jn 12:32)

As we slowly approach the Holy Week, let us take time, therefore…
… to meditate deeper on the Holy Cross and the sufferings that He underwent for us.
… to look at His Holy Cross, for sometime, everyday, in order to become more like Him.
… to hold His Holy Cross close to our hearts, that we may experience true transformation.
… to live His Holy Cross in our own life situations and bring healing and peace to our world.

Our lives are indeed, often dirtied and soiled

This “dirtied and soiled handkerchief of our life” needs an immersion into the pool of God’s Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness!

Sometimes, we feel that it is too tough to approach the Lord…
… and even feel that “we will lose our handkerchief!”

But the Lord assures, that if we are willing to be patient and trusting…
… willing to resign ourselves to His Mercy

Then we will have the experience of getting back the “handkerchief of our life” neat, clean and unsoiled!

Let us dare to “bury ourselves with our Crucified Lord” so that we can experience the Salvific Power of Christ, Who was willing to “be the Grain of Wheat that was sown, to bring Life to all!”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
God called Moses from the midst of a bush that burned without being consumed: “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

God is the God of the fathers, the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. >> He is the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them and His promises.
He comes to free their descendants from slavery.
He is the God Who, from beyond space and time, can do this and wills to do it
… the God Who will put His Almighty Power to work for this plan.
In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH (“I AM HE WHO IS”, “I AM WHO AM” or “I AM WHO I AM”), God says Who He Is and by what Name He Is to be called.
This Divine Name is mysterious…
… just as God is mystery.
It is at once a Name revealed and something like the refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is – infinitely above everything that we can understand or say: He is the “hidden God”, His Name is ineffable, and He is the God Who makes himself close to men. (CCC # 205-206)

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