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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Sunday 5th (B) of Lent

Gospel text (Jn 12,20-33): There were some Greeks who had come up to Jerusalem to worship during the feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, «Sir, we wish to see Jesus». Philip went to Andrew and the two of them told Jesus. Then Jesus said, «The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much fruit (…). And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all to myself» (…).

The universal salvation, prophesized by Isaiah, is revealed in the Cross

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, a group of Greek pilgrims who had arrived in Jerusalem asked to "see" Jesus. He responds in a mysterious way (something common in John’s Gospel): with a prophecy of the Passion, in which He points to His imminent death as "glorification", glorification that is manifested in great fruitfulness.

It is not some brief, external encounter between Jesus and the Greeks that matters. There is to be another, far deeper encounter. The Greeks will indeed "see" Him: through the cross He goes toward them. He comes as the grain of wheat that has died, and He will bear fruit among them. They will see His "glory": in the crucified Jesus they will find the true God, the one they were seeking in their myths and their philosophy.

—The universality of which Isaiah’s prophecy speaks (cf. 56:7) is brought into the light of the Cross: the one God becomes visible to the nations; in the Son they will recognize the Father and, in this way, the one God, who revealed Himself in the burning bush.

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