A reading from the gospel according to John 12:24-26
Jesus said to his disciples:
24 “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.
26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.”
Reflection: Called to serve
Good News: The Father will honor whoever serves Jesus.
The real servant serves Jesus and no one else, not even himself. The servant forgets himself, that is, he loses his own life for the sake of Christ. He is like a grain of wheat planted on good soil. It germinates, grows and produces more grain.
Life is not about what we do for ourselves. It is about what we do for God and for others. A life well-spent is not just growing up, going to school, getting work, marrying and retiring. When we die and meet our creator, we will give an accounting of what we have done to serve God and our fellowmen.
Serving God and others is a decision and it is the most important decision that one can ever make. It is not required that one becomes a preacher or a religious person to be called a servant of Jesus. There is also no age requirement or academic qualification. Whatever our situation we are in, we are called to serve.
In the gospel passage above, there are three requirements of a servant for Jesus.
1) We must fall to the ground.
• We must die to ourselves which necessitates being transformed continually through self-introspection and determination to conform our thoughts, words and deeds to Jesus.
• Self-transformation is painful but it is the only way by which we can become true witnesses of Christ.
2) We must lose our life in this world.
• We must go out from our comfort zones and immerse ourselves in meditative prayer and in actual service to people especially the needy and the oppressed.
• While we admire the lives of the martyrs before us, it is not necessary that we seek martyrdom for ourselves before we can truly claim losing life for Christ.
• It is a fact that in serving others, we may experience difficulties such as opposition and persecution.
3) We must follow where Jesus is.
• Jesus served His people and He was obedient to the will of His Father. His obedience led Him to death upon a cross but God raised Him up on Resurrection day.
• Jesus is calling us not to die on a physical cross but to be obedient to all of His commandments: to be faithful, hopeful, and loving.
After doing these three things, what is in store for the servant? God, the Father Himself, will give honor to anyone who served the Son. That is the promise. The faithful servant will not serve in vain but he will receive his reward. Just as Jesus had shown us, death leads to life. If we die with Christ, we shall live with Him.