Take a moment, right now, to step away from your computer and go outside and look around. Then come back, If you’re on your phone, put it down for a moment and look around. I’ll wait……
If you’re like most people, this may have been the first time today you made a conscious effort to look around at your surroundings, that didn’t include watching for traffic. Most of us spend so much time in front of our screens, that we forget God gave us His creation as a blessing. It isn’t just a visual blessing, however, because it is supposed to lead us to Him. Fresh green leaf sprouts, vibrant colored floral blooms, thick lush forests, all to show us His glory and power.
In today’s Gospel reading (you can read the passage below) we hear about a group of Greeks who desired to see Jesus. All the talk throughout the region had spread to their ears and they wanted to see for themselves, the One, but at that moment Jesus was unable to grant them an audience. Many had desired to see Jesus, but at that particular moment He was preparing for His Passion. There would be time later for them to see Him. But God did not leave them without a sign, nor did He leave us without a sign of His love and glory.
Every leaf we see blow in the wind, every bird that chirps, every ray of light that peaks through the clouds after a thunderstorm, are all signs of His love and glory if we choose to see. To be clear, we don’t see God in leaves and birds, but we see His love and glory. We see His power of creation and life. This was what drew the Greeks to approach Christ on the Feast, and this is what should draw us to approach Him in Church.
When you went outside (I hope you did) to look around, what did you notice? Did you notice the birds and leaves and flowers? Did you notice the breeze that brings fresh air? All those beautiful things you finally took notice of, even in the big city, is God’s invitation for you to visit Him on the Feast to see Him in His power and glory. This time He is waiting for you in the Church. He has completed His Passion on the Cross. He died, was buried, was resurrected, and ascended to His Throne to be glorified. Now it’s our turn to glorify Him in Church.
At that time, the Pharisees took counsel against Jesus and said to one another, "You see that you can do nothing; look, the world has gone after him." Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him. "Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour?' No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show by what death he was to die. The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?" Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." – John 12.19-36