Some Greeks were among those who had come up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request: “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip told Jesus.
Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One to be glorified. I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me.
Do you remember playing the children’s game, “Follow the Leader”? One child would be selected to be the leader and the rest of us would follow her and do what she did. If she jumped over a puddle, we jumped over it, too. If she climbed up the slide and slid down, we did the same thing. Sometimes, the leader would get real tricky, the path got more difficult as did the obstacles.
In the passage today, Jesus is the leader and if we’re going to play, “Follow the Leader,” it’s going to cost us.
It’s going to be hard. We’re going to be uncomfortable.
When we follow Jesus, it costs us everything - even our lives. That’s the road Jesus is taking, and, if we’re going to follow Jesus, that’s the road we have to take as well.
Jesus doesn’t make any concessions. It’s really just that black and white for him. The path Jesus takes is the one less traveled because it’s all about serving G_d and others, and not oneself. That’s what it takes to be truly Human. That’s the calling. That’s the price.
But there’s a reward. Following The Way of Jesus creates more opportunity for others to walk it. Walking The Way of self-sacrificing Love manifests G_d’s Realm from obscurity. When people follow Christ, the Realm of G_d becomes brighter, the darkness fades all the more. Until, finally, our world’s realm and G_d’s Realm become one.
But make no mistake. As the beginning of the passage makes clear, there will be darkness before the Light. And the darkness, the saying goes, is always darkest just before the dawn.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC