Lifted up from the earth, Jesus draws everyone to himself. He wants us to die with him on the cross, so that we may have eternal life.
One can safely say that everyone looks for self-fulfillment. We may not be able to define it or specify the right means of attaining it. But, yes, we strive to achieve it.
That is why we train, we exert efforts to have a good career, we commit to a business, work or project. And we take our achievements in this regard as indications of self-fulfillment.
But for all our successes, and the happiness they bring us, we feel we still lack something. It appears no experience of joy, success, security or well-being can give us fullness.
That is because such experience is clearly quite limited. It turns out so fleeting; our misery and our failures easily dispel it. And so, we end up wanting something more than what we have. In the end, really, we remain restless, and unhappy, until we rest in God (Confessions I, 1, 1).
Only God is enough for everyone, for all of us.
God alone can fulfill the desire that we harbor, consciously or unconsciously, in the depths of our being. And he lets us know, through the one who reveals him, the right means of attaining fullness.
Jesus crucified, yes, is the embodiment of the self-fulfillment that God wishes us to have. That is why the one lifted up, the one who, suffering, learns obedience, draws everyone to himself. That is to say, he becomes the glorious leader and perfecter of the fullness that God expects of everyone.
It is all about the fruitfulness, of course, of the grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies. This fruitfulness, this fullness, is the self-fulfillment that springs from living and dying for others, not for ourselves. From living and dying because of the kingdom of God and his justice.
And this new living and dying means the coming of the new covenant. With the new covenant, Jews and Samaritans, Greeks and Gentiles of every race and nation worship God truly. They serve the poor, and they do not let this greedy and unjust world defile them. And they fast genuinely by fighting for justice and sharing their possessions with the needy.
Lord Jesus, make everyone, all of us, live and die for others. We bless the same cup and break the same bread, and we contemplate you on the cross. In doing so, may we remember that we live in you by your death and die in you by your life (SV.EN I:276).
18 March 2018
Fifth Sunday of Lent (B)
Jer 31, 31-34; Heb 5, 7-9; Jn 12, 20-33
Tags: A Vincentian reading of the Sunday readings, Ross Dizon