Loosely based upon John chapter 12, verses 20 to 23
The people crowded around Jesus, some reached out to him and tried to touch him because he was a miracle worker. Others challenged him and tried to make him contradict the Law. These people were unnerved by his popularity. They were the leaders of the Synagogue and they were afraid of his growing influence.
It always seemed to be the same old story. Most of his hearers either feared and despised him or they were interested only in what they could get from him then and there. Fear, hatred and selfishness, day after day!
Jesus yearned for those who would not merely hear him but would listen to him...would learn and grow and love. They were so few!
The pattern was crystal clear; his enemies were becoming more and more frustrated...more and more desperate and therefore, dangerous.
They were not concerned with truth. They were concerned with power. Even many of those who hailed him as rabbi and master were drawing back. They were covering their bets lest they end up on the losing side. The way to Calvary lay open. The scent of death was in the air.
"My soul is troubled, what shall my prayer be?
Father, rescue me, let me turn my back on them all and walk away?
Ah! That would be so nice! But No!
I must see it through.
Goodness and truth must be served at all costs.
I am your servant Father, glorify your name."
So prayed Jesus, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him from death. He did not want to suffer. He did not want to die, but if the only way to crack the hearts and open the eyes of proud and selfish men was to freely give the last drop of his blood for them, then, so be it!
As you well know, Jesus' death and resurrection leads us toward an acceptance of his divinity so that, in retrospect, his words are like no one else's. That is why the Gospel is surrounded with unique liturgical reverence.
The Gospel of the Lord is one of love and truth but it's realization demands harmony. For great things to happen, we must all play the same melody and respect the value of each other's talents and instruments. We must be willing to listen as well as to play and we must be prepared to make whatever sacrifices necessary to insure that our main priority is to be "other centred" or, if you prefer, primarily dedicated to the good of others.
This holds true in family life, in school, in professional life and in politics. It applies to nations as well as to individuals.
To be primarily self-centred is to be unfaithful to the Gospel, to Jesus.