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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Reflection 2021-03-21 Fifth Sunday of Lent

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51; Hebrews 5:7-9; John 12:20-33
The First Reading speaks of Israel breaking the covenant of God. But God said he will make a new covenant with Israel. It will be one where the law is in them and written in their hearts and I will be their God and they shall be my people. The covenant is based, not on obedience to the Law, but on a relationship between God and his people because they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
The Gospel today shows what this means. Greeks came to Philip and told him Sir, we wish to see Jesus. The people want to see Jesus. They did not want to meet Jesus. Philip told Andrew who told Jesus who answered them The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Then Jesus spoke of his death. He also said, whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. The new covenant is based on the Person of Jesus. We serve him and no other god. We follow Jesus and no other god. Jesus knowing his hour has come said now my soul is troubled. And what should I say “Father save me from this hour?” No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father glorify your name. The covenant Jesus proclaims is not one of political power. It is one of dying so the Father will be glorified. Then a voice was heard: I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.
The new covenant is about what the letter to the Hebrews said in the second reading: to learn obedience through what he suffered. The covenant is about obedience to the Father and not to the Law. This requires dying to ourselves, our ideas, our desires and surrendering everything to the Father through Jesus.
This is why the Psalm prays: create in me a clean heart O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. This change in our heart is God’s work and this will happen only when we surrender ourselves to him.
We have a few more days before Holy Week. This is the final rush to the finish line. We learn to fix our eyes on Jesus, obeying him, trusting him, and pushing through our suffering, believing God can transform them into something good for us. Trust in Jesus.
Lord, create a clean heart in me. Let me turn my heart to you. Transform my soul O Lord. In the midst of my suffering, let me trust, you will restore to me the joy of your salvation.

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