Some Greeks go up to Philip and say ‘Sir, we would like to see Jesus’. They approach a disciple with a Greek name, and though they are not Jews themselves, they try to follow the law and to worship God. They are good people with an innate sense of the religious and they have a simple request. They want to see Jesus. Nearly 2000 years later there are people who will ask the same question.
What can be said to them? If they come to Mass on a Sunday morning, they will meet the Lord in Word and Sacrament. But they will also see Jesus in us Christians, who are the body of Christ, we too are to be his presence in the world. Everything we say, or think, or do can proclaim Christ and his saving love to the world. It is our duty as Christians to try at all times and in every way to model our lives on Christ’s, and our sharing in his passion, death, and resurrection, to form our lives so that they reflect his glory so that the world may believe. Every careless word and thoughtless action speaks to the world and says that we are hypocrites who do not practice what we preach. We are perhaps judged more harshly nowadays than at any time before; but we should nonetheless try with all the strength we can muster to live Christ’s life in the world.
‘Now the hour has come for the son of man to be gloriﬁed’ Our Lord is looking towards his passion and death. In this God shows the world the fullness of divine glory, he gives the world the most profound expression of self-giving love in His Passion, in His death upon the Cross, and in His rising to new life. This is why we as Christians celebrate Our Lord’s Death and Resurrection: week by week and year by year. We prepare ourselves during Lent to walk with Christ to Calvary and beyond. We see how much God loves us, how much God gives himself for us: totally, completely, utterly. If we serve Jesus we must follow him, and where we are he will be too. In the midst of the troubles which beset the church, Christ is with us. When we are afraid or troubled, Christ is with us, he has felt the same feelings as us, and was given the strength to carry on. When the church is written off as an irrelevance, Christ is with us.
When secularism appears strong, we should remember our Lord’s words: ‘now sentence is being passed on this world; now the prince of this world is to be overthrown‘. The world and the Devil are overcome in Christ’s self giving love, when on the cross He pays the debt which we cannot, He offers us a new way of living a life filled with love, a love so strong as to overcome death, a love which offers us eternal life.
So then as we continue our journey through Lent our journey to the cross and beyond to the empty tomb of Easter, let us lose our lives in love and service of Him who died for us, who bore our sins, who shows us how to live most fully, to be close to God, and filled with His love. Let us encourage one another, strengthen one another, and help each other to live lives which proclaim the truth of God’s saving love.
All of us through our baptism share in Christ’s death and resurrection and we should proclaim this truth to the world. This truth, this way, this life, overcomes the world, turns its selfish values on their head. Together we can love and strengthen and encourage one another to do this together: to be Christ’s body in our love and service of one another, in our proclamation to the world that God loves all humanity and longs, like the father of the Prodigal Son, to embrace us, to welcome us back. And as we do this, growing in love and fellowship we will fulfil the will of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit to whom be ascribed as is most right and just, all might, majesty, glory dominion and power, now and forever…