The Cost of Discipleship

Fifth Sunday of Lent
Reading I: Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm: Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
Reading II: Hebrews 5:7-9
Gospel: John 12:20-33

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On this Fifth Sunday of Lent, the Gospel reading presents us the cost of discipleship by using a beautiful imagery of the grain of wheat that must fall to the ground and die so that it can produce fruit. The imagery is a reflection of Jesus who emptied himself and became one like us except sin and was obedient until death so that we would have the fullness of life. When Jesus spoke about the fallen grain of wheat, he was also referring to our lives in how our lives should be lived as disciples.
It is good that during this fifth Sunday of Lent, there is a need to look again at our own call to discipleship, that is to look at our call to self-emptying, our call to surrender and our call to dying to self. This is the key to what we need to do to be a good Catholic, a good disciple and a good follower of Jesus. It is in self-giving that we can have self-fulfillment. It is self-emptying that we can have the fullness of life. It is in self-offering that we can have self-worth. As Holy Week draws near, Jesus invites us to be fruitful by being willing to make little sacrifices that will make others happy and the world a better place. Only the grain that dies yields a rich harvest. As long as the grain is safe and secure, no new life is possible.
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