8/10/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reading: 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.”
8/10/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reflection: John 12:24-26
The disciples of Jesus and in fact the whole Jewish community expected that the coming Messiah is a strong political leader who would easily drive out the foreigners who were in control of the Israel at that time. Yet the ways and thoughts of men are totally different from that of God (Isaiah 55:8). The way of Jesus is the way of love and what better way to love than to offer oneself as a ransom for many (John 15:13).
That is why, Jesus suffered, died and was buried. Literally, He fell to the ground and died like a seed. On the third day, however, He rose again and triumphed over sin and death, just like a seed that has germinated and sprouted from the ground. By His suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus has shown us the way to salvation, not by physical force and earthly power, but by love and mercy.
Jesus is now calling us to do the same, not by crucifixion but by service. In serving God and others, we die to ourselves but God will honor us, not that we are worthy or that we worked hard for our salvation but that we are obedient to His will and His commands. Let us never forget that Jesus has saved us by His own grace and not by any human action. Let us therefore continue to abide in Him through prayers and worship for He alone is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).