Being Drawn Up In Christ
Tissot's: What Jesus Saw From the Cross
The days of Jesus' public life are coming to a close as we read in today's Gospel. In terms of where we are in the season of Lent, the same is true. The Greeks in today's Gospel ask to see Jesus. The reasons for their asking were probably as varied as the people who asked, but they all desired to see Him.
As is often the case, Jesus does not give a simple reply to the Apostles who bring Jesus this news. As Jesus reveals that His hour is fast approaching, He also reveals His desire for all to be drawn up to Himself. Not only does He desire this, but says that He will do so.
I saw this "drawing up" in two ways. One, in that when Jesus says this, He is indicating the type of death He will suffer, so He is drawing us to Himself on the Cross. Though it may sound strange, I like this image and I think Jesus wanted us to have that image because He goes on to say that where He is, so are those who serve Him. If we serve Christ and follow Him, it will lead us to the Cross in some way, shape or form. However, Jesus did not stay on the Cross, nor does He wish that we stay there either. By losing our lives (our selves) we gain eternal life where we will be drawn into Him for eternity.
My other interpretation of this "drawing up" was more of a being drawn to. Once again I go back to the request of the Greeks: "We want to see Jesus." In my own desire to see Jesus, do I look for Him in others?~ for He is surely there. Even perhaps more to the point, do others see Him in me? Jesus wants to draw all things, especially souls, to Himself; he often does this through those who love and serve Him. My prayer after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion is that having received Him, people with whom I will have contact that day will see more of Him and less of me.
Jesus also prays in today's Gospel, that His Father's name be glorified. In drawing others to Christ, we too must pray that same prayer. It is God who is to be glorified and not us.
While I had two different interpretations of Jesus' words today, both lead to the same place; they both lead to the cross. In bringing others to Christ, we will bear our share of suffering, but Jesus is there with outstretched hand, so that we and all souls can be where He is.
So as we live this last week of Lent and prepare to enter into Holy Week, let's walk with Jesus through His Passion and Death, allowing those around us to see our love and devotion for Him so that by His grace, all souls may be drawn to Him.