John's Gospel stresses that Christ's death was ordained "to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad" (Jn 11:52). The same Gospel recounts that during the feast of the Passover, some Greeks approached Philip and asked him if they could see Jesus (cf. Jn 12:21). Philip, consulting with Andrew, spoke to the Lord who answered: "The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified .... Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me ..." (Jn 12:23-26).
They are the Greeks, that is, the pagans, who want to meet the Savior, and the answer, at first, seems to have no connection with the request. But in the light of what will happen on Calvary, we understand that the lifting up on the Cross is the condition for the glorification of Christ with the Father and with mankind, and that only the dynamism of the paschal mystery completely fulfils men's desire to see him and to communicate with him. The Church is called to establish an intense dialogue with humanity, not only to transmit authentic values to them, but above all to reveal Christ's mystery, because only in him does the person reach his truest dimension. "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (Jn 12:32). This "drawing", integrates us into the communion of charity and, making us capable of forgiveness and reciprocal love, achieves authentic human advancement.
Aware of being the place where people must be able "to see Jesus" and experience his love, the Church fulfils her mission by striving to offer, in the logic of the Cross, an ever more convincing witness of the gratuitous, unlimited love of the Redeemer, "until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:13).
To each I renew the invitation to intensify communion with Jesus and, through charity to make faith in him active (cf. Gal 5:6), with particular openness of spirit to those who are in need and difficulty. Thus the proclamation of the Gospel will be more eloquent and an ever living message of hope and love to the men and women of every age.