Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection March 17, 2024


Published on:

R/. Create a pure heart for me, O God.

V/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

V/. . If anyone serves me, he must follow me; says the Lord; and where I am, there will my servant be also.

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

At that time: Among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him. “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

1.      The whole story of humanity is an unceasing saga of God’s love. It is a love that is marked by intimacy, mercy and fidelity. It is a love that sustains an inseparable bond, like that between husband and spouse.

2.      It is a love that nurtures the deepest belonging which assures untiringly: I am Your God and You are My people. It is a love that enters into a new covenant that puts His law within them, writes it upon their hearts and deepens their knowledge and experience of it.

3.      It is a love that mercifully forgives and forgets all their iniquities. It is a love that is ever faithful despite all our infidelities. It is in this same intimate, merciful and faithful love that God sends His only Son to be the incarnate Saviour.

4.      This love shows itself in solidarity with humanity stung by sin and misery. It suffers for our sake. And finally, it climaxes in obedience to God’s will and salvific plan, even by dying on the cross.

5.      In response to such a love of God, what is our duty? We are called to serve Him and follow Him. In the light of the gospel imagery, it is to be like a grain of wheat. A grain falls into the ground, undergoes a dying process of struggle of change, sprouts up and grows and finally bears abundant fruit.

6.      This implies a whole life of sacrifice and service, a death to self and life and fruit for others. It is a covenantal and committed life of self-emptying and self-giving. In a world where the spirit of sacrifice and service is rapidly diminishing, and a culture of greed and grabbing, domination and subjugation is flourishing, the only remedy is a love that empties itself and gives itself generously and selflessly to others.

7.      True it is, such sacrificing and serving love is very challenging and testing. But, it is not a vain battle. The Lord clearly assures us that God will honour and glorify us. We will share the same heavenly glory and eternal communion with God.

8.      However, it is not a diplomatic baiting or wooing the followers. Rather, it is instilling a new confidence, infusing a new courage, inducing a new hope and impelling a new energy.

Catholic Leaf is website that provides Sundays and Weekdays catholic reflections. Please use catholic leaf as a tool for preparing your Homily.