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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Fifth Sunday of Lent

“I will place my law within them
and write it upon their hearts;
I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.”
(Jeremiah 31:33)

The Fifth Sunday of Lent we hear from the prophet Jeremiah that the days are coming when God promises to make a new covenant with His people Israel.  The old law was broken time after time; to remedy this God would give a new power to the old law.  The old law was external to man, obeyed out of duty.  This new covenant would be written on the hearts of man rather than on stone tablets.  Written on man’s hearts, as an “inner force,” that would shape man’s character from within. And with this new covenant God would show his mercy by forgiving “their evildoing and remember their sin no more.”  (Jeremiah 31:34)

On occasion, Jesus says, “my hour” or “time has not yet come,” (John 2:4; 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20) yet now, as we prepare to enter Passion Week, the hour has come. The new covenant that God promised in the reading from Jeremiah will be made present in Jesus’ Passion, His suffering, death and resurrection.  “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (John 12:23-24)  
In the Gospel from John “Our Lord compares himself to a grain of wheat; his death, to a grain sown and decomposed in the ground; his resurrection, to the blade which springs up from the dead grain; which grain, thus dying, brings forth an abundance of fruit.” (Clarke’s Bible Commentary)

Jesus’ time has come and where He has gone we can follow, if we let him lead us.  “Whoever loves his life loses it and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” (John 12:25)  To follow Jesus means turning away from sin, hating the part of our lives which is sin and selfishness.  “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.  The Father will honor whoever serves me.”  (John 12:26)  Following Jesus means trusting in the Father’s will for our lives and the law He has written on our hearts.

“Have mercy on me,
O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion
wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me. 
Be Merciful, O Lord for I have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
Against you only  have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight.

A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
Give me back the joy of your salvation
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth
shall proclaim your praise.“ 

 (Psalm 51)

For devotional items related to your Lenten Journey
please visit Lynn's Timeless Treasures


Christ Carrying the Cross - El Greco
Jesus Crucifixion  - van Eyck
Resurrection - Peter Paul Rubens

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