Thought of the day
Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Way of the cross, way of glory

“The hour has come for the Son of the Man to be glorified” (Jn 12:23)… When he had made known his amazing glorification, incompatible with his Passion as it seemed, Jesus added: “Amen, amen I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (v.24). “Therefore, do not let my death trouble you. The grain of wheat is alone before it falls to the earth but, once it has fallen and died, it springs up for abundant glory and bears a double quantity of fruit, it displays its abundance before all and shows off its stunning beauty. Imagine it to be the same with me. For now I am alone and without glory, unknown amongst the featureless crowd of others. But when I have undergone the sufferings of the cross I shall rise up with great glory. Then I will bear much fruit”… 

After these predictions about himself Jesus exhorts his disciples to imitate him: “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life” (v.25). “Therefore, not only must my Passion not scandalize you…, but you must be ready to undergo the same sufferings, too, so as to bear the same fruit.” Then he says very simply: “Whoever serves me must follow me.” “Whoever wishes to be my servant, let him show by his deeds that he wants to follow me.” “Where I am there also will my servant be. If anyone serves me my Father will honor him” (v.26). “Whoever shares in my suffering will share equally in my glory; he will remain with me eternally in the world to come and will share my joy in the heavenly Kingdom. That is how my Father will honor those who have served me faithfully.”