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Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert – Sunday 22nd March 2015, Lent 5,

The Hour Has Come Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 5:5-14 & John 12:20-33

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus proclaims for the first time in John, that ‘the hour has come.’ Jesus will be lifted up from the earth and will draw all to himself. The hour of Jesus is intimately asscociated with his death. The death of Jesus on the cross is the place where he is ‘lifted up,’ both physically by being raised off the ground on a stake, and spiritually, lifted up in exaltation, showing us how much God loves us. We can gaze upon Jesus lifted up, loving God and showing God’s love for us.


But the Cross is also a model for Jesus’ disciples. As Jesus death bore much fruit, we are invited to join him in a similar self-sacrificing love. The famous words about the need for a seed to fall into the ground and die so that it might bear fruit applies to both the fruitful life and death of Jesus and to the potential for the lives of those who follow him.


Our Eucharistic celebration proves that Jesus’ ‘lifting up’ in death has gathered the nations scattered across the world. As we continue to proclaim his word and share his broken body and spilt blood in memory of him, his promise rings true. But our desire to ‘bear much fruit’ can only become a reality if, in our own way, we follow the way of Jesus. Wherever Jesus is, there his servant will also be.


Christians often make the mistake that it is only Jesus who, like a grain of wheat, falls into the ground and dies so that he might bear fruit. It is as much a challenge for us to respond to the way of Jesus as readily as Jesus responded to the will of his Father. In this way will we play our part in gathering the children of God, who are still scattered.

(Adapted from This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year B, by Francis J. Moloney, p 96-7).


Jeremiah 31:31-34 – A New Covenant – 31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.


Hebrews 5:5-14 – 5 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,

“You are my Son,

today I have begotten you”;

6 as he says also in another place,

“You are a priest forever,

according to the order of Melchizedek.”

7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

11 About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become dull in understanding. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food; 13 for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.


John 12:20-33- 20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.

27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.