Set in the context of a conversation with some Gentile people who wanted to meet Jesus, today’s gospel focuses our attention on two themes. First, a grain of wheat must die if it is to bring forth fruit. Second, only by being lifted up will Jesus draw all to himself. Can you see the implications? The cross lies hidden at the heart of today’s gospel. So does the Father’s infinite love. The cross means that the gates of divine mercy have been thrown open to the whole world, not just to the chosen people. Here is Jeremiah’s new covenant. Here is the mercy David sought. Here is the making of our High Priest. Here is the Father’s love. The challenge? To open our hearts and lives to God’s loving mercy. We are also invited to join Jesus in his prayer: Father, glorify your name! How can we make that prayer real in our country today?