Homily For The 5th Sunday Of Lent, Year B

Christ Is Ready To Offer Everything For Our Salvation

Readings: (1st: Jer 31, 31-34; Ps 50, 3-15; 2nd: Heb 5, 7-9: Gos: Jn 12, 20-30)

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

 

Today as we celebrate the 5th Sunday of Lent, we are drawing close to our destination and to the most important moments in our journey this season. This fact is reflected in all the readings of this Sunday. Christ is ready to offer everything for our salvation. So, we too must be willing to offer all for him and for others.

The first reading of this Sunday is an assurance of God’s continuous presence with us.  It also reminds us of the new thing that God is about to do in our midst: “I will make a new covenant and never call their sin to mind…then, I will be their God and they will be my people.” God is ready to set aside a relationship that was destroyed by infidelity. He wishes to restore a broken relationship.

On our own part, we must be ready to accept this new covenant with God. This new covenant offers us salvation and life. So, as we continue our walk this Lent, let us know that God is willing to fulfill his promise and nothing can stop him. All he demands from us is to be ready to accept this new covenant made in Christ Jesus.

The second reading of this Sunday reminds us of the Gethsemane experience of Jesus. It reminds of the great sacrifice of Christ. First, this was in order to fulfill the promise of his father. Second, it was in order to save us. “…He learnt to obey through suffering…he became for all who obey him the source of eternal life.”

Christ is willing to pay this price this season in order to get us going in life. He will achieve it through his prayer and suffering for humanity. He will do all these in humility and obedience, which are very important virtues we need in other to excel in life. Without these Christ would not be able to achieve the new covenant for our salvation.

Today, as we see Christ carrying out his priestly and intercessory role, we must find new courage to press on in the midst of trials, persecution, and even doubts. Also, we must learn from His experience, that suffering is necessary, and inevitable in life. This is because, just as Christ, we will be made perfect through it.

The gospel of this Sunday draws us closer to our destination. Christ himself tells us: “Now the hour has come for the son of man to be glorified.” What glory is there in suffering? He is about to be arrested, punished and killed, yet he talks about his glory. Jesus saw beyond the clouds of pains and difficulties in order to behold success and eternal life.

He knew that his suffering and death would restore life to many. So, rather than be discouraged by the temporary situation of suffering, he was encouraged and motivated by the honest reward of eternal life. Hence, Christ offered his suffering and life in order to restore a broken covenant and eternal life for all who believe in him. Hence, he says: “Unless a grain of wheat dies it remains a single grain, but if it dies it yields a rich harvest.”

Unfortunately, many of us do not want to follow or like this path. Jesus invites us to be strong along the path of life. He wants us to be where he is. So, we must be ready to endure as he did. We must be ready to die as a grain dies in order to regenerate. Practically speaking, we die every day when we stand up for justices, when we stand for the truth and when we say no to sin, corruption and immorality.

These “daily deaths” exhaust us physically, but they strengthen us spiritually. Therefore, as we continue our walk with Christ this season, the thought of his own suffering and death must strengthen us daily. Also, we must constantly remind ourselves that to suffer for others, and for Christ, is an honorable thing to do.

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!

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