Fifth Sunday of Lent
Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 5:7-9; John 12:20-33
Bro. Raja Mohan
My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ
The readings of the 5th Sunday of the Lent speak about the new covenant.
Jesus started his journey towards Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Passover in the city of Jerusalem. When he was entering into the city, the people of the place gathered together in order to welcome him. When they saw him they started praising his name by singing songs and by waving the palms in their hands. In the Gospel passage the evangelist does not fail to note that the Pharisees could not do or speak anything about the people who followed Christ. The Pharisees were helpless and became aggressive when some of the Greeks who came to Jerusalem to worship, expressed their desire to meet Jesus. It is because they wanted to know him and draw closer to him. For the first time Jesus declares that his time has come, namely the divinely appointed time of his passion and death. This is what in fact, is going to be acknowledged as the new covenant. The arrival of the Greeks was a turning point. It shows that Jesus’ mission on the earth is fulfilled and the time of his death and resurrection has arrived.
The mission of Jesus is to lead the believers on the right path and exactly as the Father wants. Jesus came in order to reveal the new covenant, God’s plan of salvation and its fulfillment. At the same time the desire of the Greeks to see Jesus highlights the theme of the new covenant. Jesus himself foretold this when he spoke about his death. The Cross of Jesus helped him to enter into the hearts of the people and the death of Jesus wrapped all the people in his love and drew them to himself, to his love and life, and to the new covenant.
The image of the grain of wheat is a constant reminder that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Then Jesus goes on to tell them of all the hardship that they will face as Christians. Serving him is not going to be an easy route through life. He knows the road that lies ahead. It is a road of pain and suffering. If we plan to be disciples of Jesus we must be prepared to suffer and even die for our faith, then only we will become people of the new covenant.
This message implies that during this period of Lent, especially as we approach the Holy Week, our attention should be drawn to the Cross as a symbol and means of salvation. This Cross is the source of the new covenant, which has its law written in our hearts. This law should be kept with prayer and obedience even in the midst of suffering.
This suffering must include accepting death after glorifying God with our lives and this death will be a gateway to God.
Therefore beloved brethren, let us ask few questions at this juncture of this Eucharistic celebration: Do we accept that we are passing through some kind of sufferings in our lives because of our faith or good moral life? Are we rejected by our friends because we do not join them in evil activities? There is no need to fear for we are true witnesses to the true spirit of the Gospel. If at the moment we are enjoying comfort in our faith then, we will need to anticipate our Cross, for the Cross is the only way to God who loves us. Amen.