To follow Him in faith, hope, and love…
Reflections on the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (March 21, 2021): JER 31:31-34; PS 51:3-4,12-13,14-15; HEB 5:7-9; JN 12:20-33
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
The Son of God became a human being to do the will of His Father by sacrificing Himself for all people, Jew and Gentile alike.
On this Fifth Sunday of Lent, we hear from the last chapter from St. John’s Gospel. It takes place shortly before the feast of the Passover that Christ would celebrate with His Apostles before His Passion. We meet Jesus as He expresses His very human feelings as He recognizes the agony He will face in a few short days. “‘But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven.… Jesus…said, ‘This voice did not come for My sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world… When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Myself.’ He said this indicating the kind of death He would die” (John 12:27-28, 30-33). The Son of God became a human being to do the will of His Father by sacrificing Himself for all people, Jew and Gentile alike. Yet that does not mean that Jesus looked forward to the brutal physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering He was about to endure, any more than any of us would.
Christ wanted His followers to understand that the will of the Father is more important than anything we may want for ourselves. However, He was not only preparing them for everything that would happen to Him. He wanted them to grasp what many of them would also confront great hardships and even death. As Jesus’ disciples sharing His message among people everywhere, they some people would welcome it, while many others would be hostile. Christ would indeed “draw everyone to Myself” however, it would not happen easily or quickly. Indeed, we Christians today are still trying to spread the word that the Redeemer of the world, the King of the Universe has come. More than that, He has already achieved victory for all who embrace His mercy. It is up to us to follow Him in faith, hope, and love now and serve His kingdom all our days.