Sisters and Brothers!
At the beginning of the second part of Lent which is called the Passiontide we listen to the Lord Jesus who declares: ‘Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.’ You may remember the conversation Jesus had with his mother Mary at the wedding in Cana when upon her request to save the wedding reception at which wine run out, he said: ‘My hour has not come yet.’ In the Gospel for this Sunday our Blessed Lord speaks with determination and commitment that ‘his hour has come.’ What is this hour? If we said 60 minutes, would we exhaust its mystery? If we went deeper and said 3600 seconds would we really get deeper? Or should we say that even the best clock cannot tell us the hour of Jesus?
Therefore we turn to the Son of God to enlighten us. Jesus then asks us to pay attention to those Greeks from today’s Gospel who said to the Apostle Philip: ‘We should like to see Jesus.’ Can you see and hear what is happening here? God has worked in those Greeks and gave them a desire to see Jesus. This is what Jesus said before: ‘No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me.’ In today’s Gospel we can see and hear that God the Father did that. God the Father drew those Greeks to Jesus. The hour of Jesus began. Now the passing time is measured not just by clocks and calendars but by the working of God in people’s lives.
When Ignatius, the soldier I spoke about before, was recovering he came across some books about Jesus and Saints. In his hour of disappointment, pain and confusion God came to him and drew him to Jesus like God drew those Greeks from the Gospel to Jesus. Ignatius didn’t become a famous soldier he dreamed about. God however gave him grace to become a Saint. We invoke him now as St Ignatius Loyola. When he was drawn to Jesus God did to Ignatius what was announced through Prophet Jeremiah: ‘Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts.’ God who first wrote the Ten Commandments on the two stone tablets now is doing it on our hearts and souls by giving us his Son Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead for us and for our salvation.
This is what we celebrate here at every Mass. We wouldn’t have bread for Mass if it weren’t for some grains which fell into the soil and while dying produced new grains which became flour to make bread. It reminds us of the mystery of Christ. We wouldn’t have Holy Communion if it weren’t for Jesus who ‘was lifted up from the earth’ at his crucifixion. Then and there he was like the grain dying to give new life to us. When we touch the Holy Communion we touch the life which came from the death of some grains but we also touch the life which came from the death of Jesus Christ. What a great mystery to treasure and enjoy!
To finish this homily I call you to believe that when you think about various situations in your life, whether they are a happy hour or a sad hour, you can say that they are Jesus’ hour. They are the time when God works on you like he did work on the Greeks from the Gospel and like he did work on St Ignatius Loyola. Therefore it is not a tragedy. It is the time of grace.