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Dear brothers and sisters,
We are on the last Sunday of Lent, wherein Jesus announces the “hour” of His glorification (Jn. 12:20-33). Through His death and resurrection, He fulfills the promised “new covenant” (Jer. 31:31-34), making Himself “the source of eternal salvation for all” (Heb. 5:7-9).
In her message, Our Lady calls us to “remain with Jesus on the Cross,” because, like Him, we also “must be immolated for the salvation of the world” (400 m-n). We will read Message 400, “Remain with Jesus on the Cross,” taken from the book “To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Son.”
I. GOSPEL READING (John 12:20-33)
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. “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.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.
Points for Reflection
The gospel begins with the arrival of “some Greeks” who told Philip that they “would like to see Jesus.” They are Gentiles who, nonetheless, observe Jewish religious practices. (Remember the “temple area” that Jesus cleansed; that area was intended for them.) Their presence in Jerusalem remarkably foreshadows what Jesus would say at the end: “I will draw all people to myself” (Jn. 12:32), which would be the “hour” of His glorification. He must have sensed this. When told that they were looking for Him, He started saying: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
Jesus’ “hour” of glory takes place in three moments - death, resurrection and ascension. It would first appear as humiliation and defeat in death (lifted up on the cross). Then, upon his resurrection (lifted up out of death) and his ascension (lifted up out of his earthly existence), it would break through as the immense love and power of God on behalf of all sinners, of all times and places. No less than the “voice” from heaven attests to this, in fact, glorifying it twice: “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.”
Here unfolds the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jer. 31:31-34) about the “new covenant,” whereby Jesus is the one offered as ransom, no longer the old covenant’s animal sacrifice that could not redeem man’s debt. This “new covenant” extends to all, not just the Jews. What was once privileged knowledge of God, given only to the Jews is now opened to all. This points to the universal redemption that the Second Reading (Heb. 5:7-9) tells about Jesus: “the source of eternal salvation for all.”
Jesus glorifies God by obedience. He acknowledges how difficult it is: “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.” The “voice” from heaven assures Him that His obedience will be rewarded.
What Jesus has gone through we are called to likewise follow. To follow him, we must also be willing to let go of everything to obey God, even when it means humiliation, suffering and death. In obedience, we glorify God and, in turn, we are also glorified. As we enter the final week of Lent, let us make a serious effort “to see Jesus,” not simply to catch a glimpse of him or have some general audience with him, but rather “to follow” him, perfect in obedience. This is our path to glory.
March 24, 1989
Dongo, Como, Italy
Points for Reflection
Our Lady associates us with St. John. He was the only apostle who remained “with Jesus” up to Calvary. We may wonder why he made it there, while the rest failed. It was common belief that he stayed with the Blessed Mother after Jesus was arrested. In her company, he was able to pass through this most terrible and terrifying trial up to Calvary. There, he was singularly entrusted to Our Lady’s maternal care, an act that associates us distinctly with him.
Entrusted to Her Immaculate Heart, Our Lady wants us to “remain with Jesus on the cross.” By this, She wants our “yes” to the Will of the Father in perfect obedience, so that, like Him, we may also be “immolated for the salvation of the world" (400 m-n). Tempted by the loud voices in the world to “come down from the cross (Mt. 27:40, 42), She urges us “not give in to the subtle temptations of (her) Adversary, to the facile seductions of the world.”
To remain with Jesus on the cross, Our Lady wants to keep us with her, as She did John. She is Jesus’ gift to us in Calvary: 'Behold your Mother' (Jn. 19:27). Thus, She became the Mother of all (344 e). “Mother” was his last agonizing cry, the loud cry with which He expired on the Cross (10 b-c).
As Mother, She helps us to remain on the cross, so that the Father’s Will may be accomplished and that we may be redeemed. “I am here to help you stretch yourself on your scaffold, to suffer, to die.” By this, we can save like Jesus, and draw the world through him. Like John, let us entrust ourselves to our Blessed Mother and “remain with Jesus on the cross.”
Yours in the Immaculate Heart,
This reflection is shared with all cenacle and other prayer groups (priests and laity), communities and Marian organizations, associations and movements within and outside of the Philippines, with Our Lady’s words transcribed verbatim for those who do not have copies of the messages. This may also be shared with private individuals for their personal use.
Our Lady's messages are taken from the book: "To the Priests, Our Lady's Beloved Sons", a compilation of 604 messages in the form of locutions given by the Blessed Virgin Mary through Fr. Stefano Gobbi of Italy.
Imprimatur: Bp Donald W. Montrose, D.D., 1998
Abp. Francesco Cuccarese, 2007