A group of «Greeks», probably pagans, comes up to the disciples with an admirable plea: «We should like to see Jesus». When this gets communicated to Jesus, he responds with a vibrant discourse in which he sums up his life’s profound meaning. The hour has come. Everyone, Jew and Greek alike, would very soon be able to understand the mystery that encompasses his life and his death: «When I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all people to myself».
When Jesus is raised up on a cross and appears as the crucified one on Golgotha, all will be able to know the unfathomable love of God, they will find out that God is love and only love for every human being. They will feel attracted by the one crucified. In him they will discover the supreme manifestation of God’s Mystery.
For this to come about, you certainly need something more than having heard a talk about the doctrine of redemption. Something more than going to some religious event during Holy Week. We need to center our inner gaze on Jesus and allow ourselves to be moved, when we discover in that crucifixion the final gesture of a life given over day by day for a more human world for all. A world that finds its salvation in God.
But we probably truly begin to know Jesus when we are attracted by his complete self-sacrifice to the Father and his passion for a happier life for all God’s children, and when we hear his call, however weakly: «Whoever serves me must follow me, and my servant will be with me wherever I am».
It all depends on a desire to «serve» Jesus, to collaborate in his task, to live only for his project, to follow his footsteps in order to show in many ways and with all too often poor gestures, how God loves us all. Then we begin to become his followers.
This means sharing his life and his destiny: «My servant will be with me wherever I am». This is what it means to be Christian: be where Jesus was, be about what he was about, have the goals he had, be on the cross as he was, be at the Father’s right hand one future day as he is.
How would a Church «attracted» by Jesus Crucified, driven by the desire to «serve him» and only him, and being about the things that he was about? How much would such a Church attract people to Jesus?
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf