Eternal Life Through Earthly Transformation

 Lenten reflection for the 5th Sunday of Lent by Patrick Carolan, FAN executive Director

 This reflection was originally published in our March 16th newsletter

We continue our Lenten journey celebrating the 5th Sunday of Lent. Lent is often considered the time to renew our Baptism. In early Christianity Lent was referred to as the sacrament of our “second Baptism,” a period where we prepare ourselves to start again to live the baptismal life in its fullness. We often hear Christians say that they are saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus or they are saved by the blood of Christ. I sometimes think what would happen if aliens from a different planet landed and the first thing they saw is a sign saying you have been “saved by the blood of Christ.” They would have to wonder what kind of creatures live here that they practice human ritual sacrifice and drinking blood. Richard Rohr describes it as a belief in some kind of heavenly transaction on Jesus’s part, instead of an earthly transformation on his and our part.
In this Sunday’s Gospel from John, 12:20-33 we hear a different story. Jesus tells us “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” According to Gospel it is not enough to just believe that we are saved because of the death and resurrection. We have to believe that becoming one with God is a process of transformation. We must first surrender our life to transform. What does it mean when Jesus says we must hate our life in this world to preserve it for eternal life? The path to transformation is about surrendering ourselves, our egos, and then we will experience our own resurrection. Only when we have enough faith and trust to allow our egos to die, will we, as Jesus says, “produce much fruit.” This is how Jesus saves us from the death of hatred, violence and fear and transforms us to an eternal life of love.

Patrick Carolan
FAN Executive Director

Published in: on March 17, 2015 at 8:58 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. Reblogged this on Reflections on Scripture and commented:
    Lenten reflection for the 5th Sunday of Lent by Patrick Carolan, FAN executive Director

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