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Pope Francis: Jesus Doesn't Answer with 'Yes' or 'No'

“The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified”

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Pope Francis spoke of Jesus’ reaction in the gospel story (John 12:20-33) when the disciples are asked by visitors if they can see Jesus, in his remarks March 18, 2018, before praying the Angelus with a crowd of 20,000 in St. Peter’s Square. When the disciple Philip passes on the quest, he receives what might seem an odd response.
«Jesus’ reaction is surprising,» Pope Francis recalled. «He doesn’t answer with a ‘yes’or a ‘no,’ but He says: ‘The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified’ (v. 23).»
Those words might appear to ignore the question, but the Pope explained that only in the cross would others truly «see» Jesus. That is because to see Jesus one must «look within to the cross, where His glory is revealed».
«Today’s Gospel invites us to turn our gaze to the crucifix, which isn’t an ornamental object or an accessory of clothing – sometimes abused! – but is a religious sign to contemplate and understand.,» the Holy Father continued. «In the image of Jesus crucified is unveiled the mystery of the Death of the Son of God as supreme act of love, source of life and of salvation for humanity of all times. We were healed in His wounds.»
Continuing with his analysis of the gospel, the Pope explained that the passion Christ would soon endure was «an act of fecundity».  Indeed, Jesus uses the example of the grain of wheat, which must die and be buried, then will grow and bear fruit.
«So He compares Himself to the grain of wheat that, decaying in the earth, generates new life,» Francis said. «With the Incarnation, Jesus came on earth, but this isn’t enough. He must also die to ransom men from the slavery of sin and give them a new life reconciled in love.
«I said: ‘to ransom men’, but He paid that price to ransom me, you, all of us, each one of us. This is the mystery of Christ. It goes to His wounds, enters, contemplates, sees Jesus but from inside.»
The Holy Father suggested the «dynamism of the grain of wheat, accomplished in Jesus, must be realized also in us His disciples… losing our life to receive it new and eternal.»
He stressed the implication that Christians think less of themselves and more of others, carry out with joy works of charity, and live genuinely the Gospel.
«I want to see Jesus, but to see Him from inside. Enter in His wounds and contemplate that love of His heart for you, for you, for you, for me, for all,» Francis concluded.

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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