Fifth Sunday of Lent
This is the fifth Sunday of Lent, the last Sunday before Holy Week. In many parishes, it is customary to veil crosses and images with purple cloth around the church in this time we call Passiontide.
This week’s first reading from the prophet Jeremiah comes from a place of sadness and despair in the exile of the Hebrews. They find hope in the word of the prophet that foretells a promise of better times in a new covenant. In our day, we sometimes feel like our current state is distant from the Lord, but we have hope in this covenant that we live in today.
“All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.” As we enter into the last phase of Lent, we can cling tight to the cross that has won our forgiveness.
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
- (12a) Create a clean heart in me, O God.
This week’s second reading from the letter to the Hebrews is a short but important reminder of our theme. The unknown writer speaks to a community of Jewish people that converted to Christianity and were feeling hurt from the separation they felt from their family and friends.
This letter reminds us that Jesus is our final mediator and ultimate source of salvation. No matter how much we lose that belongs to this world, Jesus is worth the cost since He has paid it all for us.
Verse Before The Gospel
Whoever serves me must follow me, says the Lord;
and where I am, there will my servant be.
This week’s Gospel from St John is a direct message foreshadowing what we are going to celebrate next week in the Holy Mass. Jesus uses the example of a grain of wheat that must die to bring new life., and He is directly speaking of Himself as the grain. We also hear a unique situation when the voice of God interrupts and is audible by the disciples.
Jesus has poignant words for us when he tells us that if we love our life, we will lose it. Lent is a time of letting go and surrender to the Lord, and that includes every single part of our life. Jesus isn’t threatening us all with imminent destruction, but He is serious about how we try to live our lives. We cannot live as if we are in control and can do it for ourselves. We cannot kid ourselves, we are all in serious need of a savior.
Gospel Meditation from Bishop Vásquez
Jesus mentions “good fruit” coming from the seed that dies and grows. What good fruit do you produce? How can you increase your “harvest?”