5 Minute Mass Reflection: March 25, 2012
Sorry I missed last week… I was pretty wrapped up in the youth conference at Holy Trinity Parish. Here’s one for this week, the fifth Sunday of Lent:
Today’s first reading comes from Jeremiah 31:31-34 (how God promises to make a new covenant, writing it on our hearts), the Responsorial Psalm is Psalm 51 “Create in me a clean heart, o God”, the 2nd reading is Hebrews 5:7-9 (how Jesus made his prayer and sufferings on our account), and the Gospel comes from John 12:20-33 (the Greeks wish to see Jesus, and Jesus points towards his suffering and glorification that is to come.)
You can read the readings in their entirety here on the USCCB website.
The Old Testament tells us all about the ways in which God intervened in human history, rescuing the Israelite people in different crises: for example, when Moses led the people out of Egypt, or David leading them in battle against the Philistines. It’s assumed that many misunderstood Jesus as the Messiah in large part because they were expecting a military leader who would rescue them from a military occupation.
Today’s readings at Mass point towards the rescue Jesus actually came to accomplish. In the first reading, he says that “It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand to lead them forth from the land of Egypt” but rather promising that “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Psalm 51 prays “A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.” The author of the Letter to the Hebrews states that Jesus “became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,” and Jesus Himself points towards what He means in the Gospel: ”Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”
Where the rescue from Egypt or the Philistines was obvious for everyone to see; our rescue from sin was less obvious. Some of the apostles initially missed the point, heading back to their old lives after Jesus’ death- but the idea was that our lives were never meant to be the same. Much like the hand of winter, whose grip on our lives is melting away… Jesus died so that the grip of sin might melt away, and the beauty, joy, and LIFE of springtime could be felt in our lives. Being freed from sin means heading into something new- a life without sin, not centered on ourselves, with a pure heart and steadfast spirit.
Have a great Sunday!