Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...


seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – John 12:20-30
1. The parable of the grain of wheat reminds us of a truth that any parent can testify to, namely that it is in dying to ourselves that we can give life to others. We will never be of benefit to others if we remain wrapped up in ourselves. In what ways has your dying to yourself brought life to another? How has the generous giving of another brought life to you?
2. Sometimes our emotions rebel at the thought of what lies ahead and we feel like praying Father, save me from this hour. Then a realisation may come for you as a parent, a teacher, a spouse, a friend: No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Recall times when you have accepted pain or hassle and been a source of life to others for doing so.
3. The story presents the death of Jesus as the moment of his glorification by God. It is the moment when the love of Jesus for us is shown in its greatest depth in his gift of himself, a gift he was able to make because God enabled him to do it. We are also glorified when the grace of God enables us to give generously of ourselves. When have you experienced this in yourself or in another?
4. ‘This voice has come for your sake and not for mine.’ The angel spoke that we might recognise the love being shown to us by Jesus. Sometimes it requires the voice of another to draw our attention to love that is being offered to us. When was this your experience?  – John Byrne, OSA

We are reminded in our Second Reading today of the humanity of Christ expressed in a particular way through his obedience to the Father. Here is a Jesus who needs to pray, even to cry out, to the one who had the power to save him from death. Although he was Son of God, he nevertheless had to learn obedience through suffering. We don’t often think of a Jesus engaged in ‘learning’ or practising ‘obedience’. But obedience first comes from listening. Indeed, the etymology of the word ‘obedience’ (from the Latin ob-audire) is ‘to listen to/give ear to’. Let’s all listen a little more this week.  – Salvador Ryan, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth

The Deep End
Those poor Greeks. Did you notice that they never actually get to meet Jesus? At the start of today’s gospel some Greeks who are followers of Jesus come to Jerusalem. They are travellers, outsiders, and would like to meet Jesus in person. But when Philip and Andrew relay the request, Jesus begins to talk about how his ‘hour’ is coming. It is the last we hear of the Greeks, who disappear from the story altogether.
But they are important nonetheless. Firstly, they indicate that word about Jesus is spreading, that in the words of the Pharisees, ‘the world has gone after him’. More importantly, they prompt Jesus to reveal that, when his hour comes, he will draw ‘all people’ to himself. In the space of a few short verses, we go from a brief mention of a group of foreigners seeking Jesus, to Jesus making it crystal clear that his saving mission is for all people, of all nations, both Jews and Gentiles – including those Greeks! There is no suggestion from Jesus that some groups are ‘in’ and others ‘out’. All are included. All are invited. All are welcome.
I remember once hearing someone describe their home as a domestic church, a place of ‘indiscriminate welcome’. As we continue our journey through Lent, and soon into Holy Week, let us listen carefully to these words of Jesus. He came for all. He wishes to draw all people to himself. Are our churches, parishes, communities and homes open to all, outsiders included? Are they places of welcome and inclusion, where all who enter experience God’s love?  – Tríona Doherty, Athlone

(from Intercom)


Latest News

Today’s Mass Readings
The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky. The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stung with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.
Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.
©2009-2018 Harolds Cross Parish - Designed and developed by GetOnline