Devotion: 5th Sunday of Lent

Devotion: 5th Sunday of Lent


Readings: Jer 31:31-34, Heb 5:7-9, Jn 12:20-33

As we draw closer to the passion and death of Christ, our lenten experience brings us face to face with one of the many instances where Christ foretells of his death. In this discourse, one thing is clear; his death is in obedience to the father and thus does not give in to his will but that of his father.

Jesus’ attitude to the mission his father gave him is all we are called to reflect upon on this Sunday.

The first reading speaks of the new covenant that God will establish with his people. Just as the old covenant, the new covenant will remain binding as long as the people remain obedient to their God. The obedience called for in this case is the same as of the old only that the Israelites did not remain faithful. Unlike the old where the law was inscribed on stone tablets, the new law will be engraved in the hearts of the people. This shows how lasting this covenant will be because it is not written on a tablet where it can be erased or the tablets broken. The heart is the seat of the law. It shall remain in the people. This signals the fact that the people will have to remain faithful to God.

What made the older generation forsake Gods law was their appetite to be like the other nations and their desire to satisfy their selfish desires. Thus the people didn’t not let go what was against Gods law; they never died to self. This made the people walk away from the Lord and fell short of his love and kindness.

The second reading from Paul’s letter to the Hebrews recalls Jesus selfless offering and obedience to the father so as to fulfil his mission. In pure human terms, Paul expresses the struggle Jesus had within himself as he remained obedient to his father’s call. However, the beauty of his mission lies in his obedience to his father.; obedience that leads to salvation for all. It is very logical to conclude therefore that for Christians to attain this salvation, they need to die to self and walk as God commands.

This Sunday liturgy therefore is a big call for us to conversion and complete obedience to God’s commands. The task is not smooth; it involves everyday struggle against our sinful desires. It involves constant battle within ourselves of whether to ask God to let the temptation pass or fight on and remain faithful to him.

O Lord help us to imitate your example. Help us deny ourselves of our pleasures and control our morbid desires so as to attain your salvation.