Gospel Jn 12:20-33
Sorry; really late with this one. I've been busy seeing the sights of Barcelona.
As usual, there is something funny in this gospel passage—funny odd, if not joke funny. A group of Greeks have come, no doubt from a long way, and wish to meet Jesus. Jesus is asked directly if they can see him—and he does not answer. Instead, he talks of the kind of death he is about to die.
I think the point is that the arrival of Greeks seeking Jesus signals that it is time for the crucifixion. If the Greeks are aware of it, and concerned about it, that means the message of Jesus's death and resurrection will spread throughout the world. Most of the Ancient world was then Hellenized, as a result of Alexander's Empire plus the prestige of Greek culture in Rome; if the good news was spread in Greek, it would quickly reach as far as Spain and Britain in the West, and Afghanistan and what is now Pakistan in the East. From there, trade routes could carry it further east--as in fact happened.
There is a passage in the “Hail Holy Queen” that refers to the human condition as “mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.” A priest friend of mine scoffed at that, insisting that all things were really for the best in this best of all possible worlds. I thought he was wrong then, and this gives clear Biblical warrant that he was. If you are happy with this life, something is wrong. The “ruler of this world” is plainly not God, as this passage makes clear; it is Satan.