March 17, 5th Sunday of Lent, Sacrifice: a Sunday Scriptures blog

“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose I came to this hour.” Recently I heard a science guru remark that humans are the only species that will die for a cause. This quote from our Cycle B Gospel (John 12:20-33) shows Jesus understanding his purpose and facing the consequences rather than praying to be saved. John’s Gospel, written around the year 100, is the fruit of years of reflection about questions like “Why did Jesus have to die?” This Scripture is their answer: These early Christians had come to understand that only through death and resurrection could the light of Christ be embedded in human consciousness and historical memory, so as to transform us today. Dying for something larger or greater than my life is the ultimate sacrifice. It is important to all of us that people, including our own children, grow up willing to do this. What would our world be without first responders, for example? There are other examples of sacrifice short of death. Bearing and raising children requires enormous sacrifice. Unpopular as this next example may be, immigrants sacrifice when they place their destitute families first and come to First World countries to make money to send home. As we approach Palm Sunday next week, with its reading of the Passion Narrative, we ask: What would I die for? Where is my sacrificial love at work now? Is God asking me to do more?

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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