• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 16 March 2018 18:46

Fifth Sunday of Lent - Year B - 2018

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

 

Fifth Sunday of Lent
John 12:20-33

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestMost of us when we were children may have tried to figure out what would happen if we put a seed in a glass of water. At first, it seems nothing is happening, then maybe after a few days, the outer shell of the seed begins to crack, then slowly a little green sprout springs out of the seed until a little bud forms and a green leaf slowly unravels.

The gospel for today tells us what will happen to Jesus in the near future. Like a grain of wheat, unless it dies through its separation from the stalk and it is planted on the ground it remains a grain of wheat. However, once it is buried on the ground, it will sprout as another plant and be ready to bring fruit of many grains of wheat.

The reading for today from the Gospel of John started with some Greek people looking for Jesus. Jesus could have taken advantage of this time to introduce to them the beauty of the Kingdom of God or the rewards of following him and being faithful to his teaching. However, what Jesus taught is about a seed falling to the ground and dying. Jesus also mentioned that his hour to be “glorified” has now come. After three years of criss-crossing the countryside of Judea and Galilee, his hour has now arrived. He is now preparing himself to be glorified by his Father, in other words, the time of his passion, death and resurrection is now at hand. Definitely it is clear that Jesus in today’s reading is not out there to say what his listeners wanted to hear. He is telling all of us that unless we die to ourselves that is to make others more important than ourselves and giving our lives so that others may live will not be able to attain eternal life.

Let me give you two stories that will clearly explain about what Jesus has said. Let us recall the life of St Maximillan Kolbe, a Catholic priest who was arrested during the Second World War and was interred at a concentration camp in Auschwitz in Poland. One day, the guards discovered that one prisoner had escaped. To serve as a warning to the other prisoners of the consequences of escaping, the commandant decreed that ten prisoners would be chosen to die of starvation. As the commandant randomly chose ten prisoners, the tenth prisoner, Francis Gajowniczek exclaimed, “How about my wife and children!” When Maximillan heard this, he stepped out of line from formation and told the commandant that he was willing to take the place of this prisoner. He said to the commandant, “I don’t have a wife, I don’t have children, so I am willing to die in the place of the other prisoner.” The commandant agreed. So Maximillan was incarcerated alone in prison and was starved for two weeks. When the guards saw that he was still alive, he was lethally injected with carbolic acid which caused his death. Francis survived the Holocaust and was able to attend the canonisation of St Maximillian Kolbe. We see here how the death of Maximilian saved the life of Francis and his family.

When I was a parish priest in Wellington, New Zealand. I had a parishioner called Paul who had a partner for more than fourteen years. Sr Therese who is a good friend of Paul had been trying to persuade him to get married. However, Paul had a sort of phobia when he was the centre of attention and getting married in church where he and the bride would be the focus was too difficult a task to even contemplate. Sadly, Paul discovered that he had terminal cancer and because of his love for his partner, Sue (not real name), he finally decided to get married. So when I was informed of this development, I hurriedly prepared all the documents for the wedding. Paul who was now visibly weak got transferred from the hospital to the hospice. In that hospice, there was a little prayer room. So when the wedding service was to begin, Paul even with difficulty managed to stand up and recite the wedding vows. For both of them, when it came to the part of the vows that says, “…in sickness and in health”, they stumbled over the words visibly overcome with emotion knowing that his deteriorating state of health was very real. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Sadly, Paul died two weeks after the wedding. Yet, nobody would forget that beautiful moment when they died to themselves so that love may forever live.

As Holy Week is getting closer, may our selfish ambitions die so that others may live.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 22 March 2018 12:34