We are coming closer to Easter. Today’s Gospel finds Jesus in Jerusalem. The authorities are already plotting to kill him. Jesus knows that he has only a few days to live, and knows that he will face a horrible death on the Cross. But he will not be dragged to his death; he goes willingly. The parable of the wheat grain that has to fall to the ground and die, so that it can bear fruit, shows us that Jesus accepts it all as part of the plan of God the Father. His prayer – ‘Father, glorify your name!’ – and the voice of the Father, coming from heaven in response, show us the perfect unity between Father and Son. Jesus’ death will bring glory to his Father, and it will bring hope for us; ‘When I am lifted up, I will draw all people to myself.’
Jesus also says, ‘Wherever I am, my servant will be there too.’ Where do we see Jesus? We see him curing the sick and forgiving sinners. We see him among the poor and the outcasts. We see him, in the end, lifted up on the Cross. If we want to be his disciples, we have to be ready to let go of the things of the world – even of life itself. It’s a challenging teaching. But the reward that the Lord promises us is eternal life with him.