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A reading from the holy Gospel according to St John 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples: "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."

REFLECTIONS: What do you think first made the apostles take notice of Jesus? Was it that they had heard him preach? Was it that God the Father inspired them to see more than the rest of the people saw? Heard more or felt more than others? What attracts us one to another? It is difficult to explain love as so many different people are attracted to each other for many reasons. But, at first, it is that first look, that first catch of the day feeling that attracts us to one another and then as we allow that spirit to enter our inner mind and soul we allow our souls to be transformed. In falling in love with that being, that person, we are wanting to deny ourselves, allowing he whom we love to take center stage.

So, such is our relationship with God. Jesus said we must be willing to lose our lives to live. We must embrace the cross and lose our life on that cross. We are willing, as a lover, to identify our life with his and to follow him in spite of guaranteed suffering. Jesus is the perfect example of how one should love--He could not restrain his love for us and so he gave his life for our love. Are we that much in love with Jesus that we would do the same ?

PRAYER: Dearest Lord, help us to forget ourselves. Help us to identify soley with your holy will, and let us have joy in suffering for you. We pray for your fervent and faithful priests. The priests who did not forget your love--and who want to bring us over to you so that we can experience your love as well. We so want to hear you say to us, " I love you more when you are tired from doing your chores at home or work, when you are caring for you aged parents, when you plan delightful things but have to renounce them as we are called to do something different." Help us to live and work with those who annoy us, and most of all let us remember you love us more when we are stranded in arid land, wondering where you are. Amen

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