Jesus announces that His “hour” has arrived and the Almighty Father’s voice is heard. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Fraternity so he can build friendships and draw men to Jesus Christ and by seeking the Fruit of Generosity from the Holy Spirit so he can persistently pray that all people will be converted to Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church.
5th Week in Lent – Sunday – Cycle B – Jn 12:20-33
After raising Lazarus from the dead and being anointed by Lazarus’ sister Mary, Jesus makes His triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the Passover (likely date: April 3, 33 A.D.). Purposefully entering Jerusalem in a highly provocative and symbolic way as a king to announce the salvation of His coming Kingdom, Jesus initiates His final confrontation with the Jewish and Roman rulers, through which He will accomplish His saving Passion and the Resurrection.
In a preview of how all men will be drawn to Jesus, Greeks approach Philip (who will later evangelize in Greece), seeking an audience with Jesus. When Philip and Andrew give the request to Jesus, He responds with the momentous announcement, “the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified”; throughout John’s Gospel (2:4, 4:23, 5:25, 7:30), Jesus prophetically announced His “hour” which now will be revealed in His Passion and Resurrection. Jesus mysteriously confirms His death (seed that dies, loses life) will yield great fruit, and that His followers must imitate Him by being willing to give up their lives.
Anticipating the Agony of the Passion, Jesus is troubled, but resolutely calls to God the Father, confirming Jesus’ absolute commitment to do the Father’s will. Stunning and confusing the crowd, God the Father’s voice is heard which confirms Jesus will be glorified by the Father in this “hour.” Jesus then reveals His “hour” (Passion) will bring judgment upon the world, that Satan (ruler) will be defeated, and that, “all men” will be drawn to Him. Following this (v 34-43 are omitted from the Liturgy), the Jewish crowd confronts Jesus with disbelief, and He withdraws into hiding, preparing for the Passion. In his Gospel, John confirms the cowardice of many of the authorities who fear the punishment of the Pharisees through the 800-year-old prophetic words of Isaiah: they preferred, the “praise of men more than the praise of God.”
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be amazed at how Jesus heroically faces His coming Crucifixion: with perfect Perseverance and Courage (parts of Fortitude), Jesus continues to publicly teach despite knowing His death is imminent; He demonstrates Charity, teaching men about sacrifice by His perfect example of Sacrifice; He admits Sorrow but demonstrates to men the power of Faith (though He does not need Faith, because He is at one with the Father) by offering God the Father a public act of Gratitude (a part of Justice), which is immediately rewarded when the Father speaks words of praise for the Son for all to hear.
Draw men to Jesus through fraternity and friendship
Realize: Despite the seeming rejection of Jesus by men who are lukewarm, neglectful or rebellious, His call to “all men” to be drawn to Him remains true.
Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s Call to All Men (CCC 542, 662, 786, 1428).
Pray: Jesus, Divine King, help me build the Virtue of Fraternity (a part of Justice) so I build deep fraternity with a few, and friendship with many, always seeking to draw men closer to You, even those who seem unwilling or unlikely to respond.
Pray for all to be converted to Christ and His Church
Realize: While Jesus was murdered through the acts of some Jewish leaders (and Romans), there were also Jewish leaders in Jerusalem who loved and defended Him.
Believe: Reflect upon the truth that the Jews are not collectively responsible for Jesus’ Death (CCC 595-597, 839).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruit of Generosity so I regularly pray for all to be converted to Christ and be received into Your Holy Catholic Church.