Fifth Sunday of Lent Jer.31:31-34; Ps 51:3-4,12-15; Heb.5:7-9; John 12:20-33 “keep my spirit steady and willing” (Ps.51:12b
During these weeks of Lent, we have heard God’s Word spoken to us once again. From the babe in Bethlehem to the active ministry of Jesus, we have followed God’s story. We have been reminded of the amazing wonders of God’s deeds as it made the way from town to town. We have relived God’s magnetism inviting others to follow. God’s teachings, miracles, and love all pointed us toward a loving relationship with the Father, “Abba.”
In today’s Gospel, we are told that the time of searching for more signs and wonders is over. It is now the time to move from the signs to the reality of following Jesus – no matter what! Jesus encourages us to keep our eyes fixed on the One who has the power to save us from darkness, fear, confusion and eternal death just as God was able to do.
The Psalmist tells us to ask God to “keep my spirit steady and willing(12b)…Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will speak out your praise.(15)” (Ps.51)
The disciple listens to learn and learns to listen so he/she may come to believe and know God. As we hear in the book Jeremiah: “Deep within them, I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts…There will be no further need for neighbor to try to teach neighbor, or brother/sister to say ‘Learn to know Yahweh!’ No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest…” We have come to know Yahweh in the good times and the times of trial and suffering throughout our lives. How often have we experienced “the hour” upon us and only our faith and steadfast hearts kept us clinging to God?
In today’s Gospel, we are told that the hour of Jesus’ time was upon him. We are entering the days when we recall the Passion and Death of Jesus of Nazareth. The time when Jesus applied all that was learned from God to the reality that was upon him. The ‘hour’ of the ultimate TRUTH, the final teaching that the surrender of all that I have, and all that I do is nothing compared to the Power of Love that is stronger than death itself.
Next Sunday we enter Holy Week. Through this Lenten season, we have been challenged to remember that we, as disciples of Jesus, will face our own “hour” and ‘hours’ of truth along the way to our eternal HOME. This time in our history, we too are being asked to move from symbols to reality. I suggest that the “hour” of our time is upon us.
Where do we stand? Are we still waiting for more signs? Are we ready to pick up our cross and believe that the Father’s name will be glorified? Is it at this very time that we are prepared?
“What shall I say: Father, save me from this hour?”(Jn12:27) or will I simply pray: “Create a humbled heart and steadfast spirit within me, O God.” (Ps.51)
Sister Maureen Murphy, O.P.