21st March -Fifth Sunday in Lent

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Gospel: John 12.20-33

No one would like to suffer, we only try not to suffer and when we have to suffer we seek ways to come out of suffering because suffering is painful and agonising.

Jesus took up suffering for the sake of other people. He said when I am lifted up, I will draw all people to myself. For Jesus to be lifted up is not an elevation but suffering on the cross. Lifted up on the cross for all to see that he suffered for all.

The New Testament book of Hebrews says this: ‘Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.’(Heb.5.8)

Suffering was a learning experience of Jesus, he learned obedience in suffering.

St. Paul in his letter to the Romans says that, ‘And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.’(Rom.5.3,4)

Jesus invites us to suffer, the suffering of changing ourselves. To come out of all that in our nature that is not good, all that is not Christ like. Jesus says, ‘Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’ 

The Cross of Jesus invites us to Change our nature by putting an end to a sinful nature and to be born with the nature of Jesus.