Reading I Jer 31:31-34, Responsorial Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15, Reading II Heb 5:7-9, Gospel Jn 12:20-33

We are heading to Easter, we are approaching the hour where Jesus will give his life for the humanity. As the hour gets closer, Jesus says:“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your Name.” To this prayer, the Father answered:“I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” For Jesus, the cross is the throne of his glory, and it is because He accepted crucifixion and death on the cross that He was glorified after He had risen from death. We must follow the way He has shown us: “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 produces much fruit.”

To follow Christ is to be united with Him. The baptism unites us with Christ, and in it we die with Christ and come to life again. To enter everlasting life, one has to pass through death, there is no other alternative. Then, we have to ask ourselves if we are ready to follow Jesus on his way to the cross so as to also participate to his resurrection and glorification. In case we are not, this sacred period of lent is the best occasion to be committed to the issue. Pride, vanity, selfishness are the things that we should abandon before we participate in Christ’s Death, and we shall then be able to live for love. Indeed, the kingdom of God is love, it is the kingdom of mercy and unity, there is no place for rancor. To live in this kingdom is our goal, and Jesus has shown us the way to achieve it, the cross of Christ is the only way. When we receive communion, we extend our two hands in such a way that they form a cross. This means that by receiving Christ, we also receive his love and also his cross. We have to bear the cross because it is only by accepting sufferings that our lives are fruitful. We have to follow Jesus to the cross to be glorified with Him.

Mary shows us how to receive the cross of Christ, She had made Christ her life, her passion, her joy and her tears, Christ was all for her. She does not hesitate to follow His son to the cross although she was severely suffering in her in. We can imagine how tough it was for her to see her Son unjustly sentenced to death and crucified as a criminal. Because she accepted to suffer, she is now in glory with his Son. She calls us to imitate her by making sacrifices with love. We should take care of those who are suffering, we should not be busy looking at our screens while our brothers and sisters need our attention. When a person comes to talk to us about his or her problems , we should not undermine what he or she says by telling them that we also have our problems, we should rather listen to him or her till the end. Even though we may not be able to provide any help him or her, he or she will be relieved because someone has listened to him or her. Today, we should pray that God remove pride and selfishness from our hearts so that the love of Christ, which is the reflection of the love of our heavenly Father, shines in our hearts.

In those few lines I hope to have shared with you what I heard in the homily in the 6:00 am Mass on Sunday March 21, 2021 at Mont Sion Gikungu. The Mass was celebrated by Father Claude.

 

Christa Ishimwe