I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.John 12:24
Begin with a few moments of quiet.
The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you.
Find a comfortable space and when ready, take three deep breaths. As you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally and take a few moments to reflect on:
- Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
- Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.
Grace and Peace – Eric Nordhoff
Read the Gospel John 12:20-33
Read the Gospel aloud, even if reading it on your own.
Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. These approached Philip, who came from Bethsaida in Galilee, and put this request to him, ‘Sir, we should like to see Jesus.’ Philip went to tell Andrew, and Andrew and Philip together went to tell Jesus. Jesus replied to them:
‘Now the hour has come
for the Son of Man to be glorified.
I tell you, most solemnly,
unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain;
but if it dies,
it yields a rich harvest.
Anyone who loves his life loses it;
anyone who hates his life in this world
will keep it for the eternal life.
If a man serves me, he must follow me,
wherever I am, my servant will be there too.
If anyone serves me, my Father will honour him.
Now my soul is troubled.
What shall I say:
Father, save me from this hour?
But it was for this very reason that I have come to this hour.
Father, glorify your name!’
A voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ People standing by, who heard this, said it was a clap of thunder; others said, ‘It was an angel speaking to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not for my sake that this voice came, but for yours.
‘Now sentence is being passed on this world;
now the prince of this world is to be overthrown.
And when I am lifted up from the earth,
I shall draw all men to myself.’
By these words he indicated the kind of death he would die.
Reflect on the Gospel
Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use some quietening music again if you wish.
When you are ready, use one or more of the following questions offered by Fr. Kieran O’Mahony to aid you in reflecting on what took place in the Gospel.
- Jesus seems to sense that a crisis point has arrived, and he agonises over saying ‘yes’ to what lies before him. He opts to stay faithful to the mission given him by God.
Can you recall decisions over which you agonised? What was that like for you? What was it like when you made a decision that you dreaded, or were anxious about, but believed it was the right one for you?
- The parable of the grain of wheat reminds us of a truth that any parent can testify to, namely that it is in dying to ourselves that we can give life to others. We will never be of benefit to others if we remain wrapped up in ourselves.
In what ways has your dying to yourself brought life to another? How has the generous giving of another brought life to you?
- Sometimes our emotions rebel at the thought of what lies ahead and we feel like praying to Father, save me from this hour. Then a realisation may come for you as a parent, a teacher, a spouse, a friend: No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.
Recall times when you have accepted pain or hassle and been a source of life to others for doing so.
- The story presents the death of Jesus as the moment of his glorification by God. It is the moment when the love of Jesus for us is shown in its greatest depth in his gift of himself, a gift he was able to make because God enabled him to do it. We are also glorified when the grace of God enables us to give generously of ourselves.
When have you experienced this in yourself or in another?
Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB of the World Community for Christian Mediation offers a reflection on this Gospel as part of his daily reflections for Lent. Read it now by clicking here
- How does that reflection change your reaction to this Gospel story?
Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.
Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Readings in written or on video.
Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB of the World Community for Christian Mediation offers a reflection on this Gospel as part of his daily reflections for Lent.
Enter into a visual prayer experience reflecting through Art on the action in today’s Gospel.
The following prayer is from the Center for Action and Contemplation community. We invite you to listen to or join with Richard Rohr in praying this prayer (see cac.org)
Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.