Death is not the victor

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Some Greeks were among those who had come up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request: “Sir, we want to see Jesus.” Philip told Andrew, and Andrew and Philip told Jesus.

Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Human One l to be glorified. I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. Whoever serves me must follow me. Wherever I am, there my servant will also be. My Father will honor whoever serves me.

“Now I am deeply troubled. What should I say? ‘Father, save me from this time’? No, for this is the reason I have come to this time. Father, glorify your name! ”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

The crowd standing there heard and said, “It’s thunder.” Others said, “An angel spoke to him.”

Jesus replied, “This voice wasn’t for my benefit but for yours.” ~John 12:20-32 (CEB)

“The final pictures in Matthew’s gospel are not only a bold affirmation of faith in the triumph of the kingdom of God, they are also a daring challenge to the disciples. The only logical response to this Gospel is the Great Commission: ‘Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, for I am with you always, even to the end of time.’

One of the most courageous witnesses for Christ in recent years was Archbishop Oscar Romero, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador, who was killed on March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass in a hospital chapel in San Salvador.

With unflinching courage, he applied the message of liberation and justice to the political and social struggles of his homeland. In his last homily on March 23, he acknowledged ‘the risk that is run by our poor station for being the instrument and vehicle of truth and justice,’ but he went on to say that, in the context of the Lenten season, ‘all of this is preparation for our Easter, and Easter is a shout of victory. No one can extinguish that life which Christ revived. Not even death and hatred against him and against his Church will ever be able to overcome it. He is the victor!’” ~From What Will You Do with King Jesus? by James A. Harnish

What does it cost me to “make disciples”? If the answer is nothing maybe I am going about it the wrong way.

Heavenly Father, give me the courage I may need today to step out in faith for You. May I take with me the victory call that Christ has died, Christ has risen and Christ will come again. May the fact that Jesus died for my sins strengthen and bolster me to take this good news to others. Amen.

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