THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT
Here we are at the fifth Sunday of Lent with five weeks of our Lenten observances behind us with just two weeks to go to the day of Resurrection that is Easter doesn’t time fly by, for me life in general just seems to be flying past the eye of my mind. I hope that you haven’t found the Lenten exercises you began on Ash Wednesday to hard to continue but everyone of us one and all are getting there, keep on going.
As we approach Holy Week and the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection our Gospel story today tells us that anyone who loves his life will lose it and anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. This challenges us to recognise just how very different the vision of life we must have If we are to follow Jesus Christ. These 40 days of Lent help us to identify with Jesus, who spent 40 days of fasting and prayer in the wilderness of the dessert before beginning his public ministry. The number 40 is connected with other biblical events. It is no coincidence that Moses spent 40 days of fasting and prayer before receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. After escaping captivity in Egypt by crossing the Red Sea, the Hebrew tribes spent. 40 years wandering in the desert before reaching the promised land. Jesus calls us into a spiritual world that stands in sharp contrast to world of today where so many have little or nothing and so few have so much more than they need. Simply put Jesus, his life and example call us into the world of God in order for us to bring it out there to other people by the way we live our lives in our words, deeds and example.
The Lord calls us to rise above the selfish goals that many of us might have for many things in our daily lives. Selfish goals that mean that we want what we want and not what is good for all of us. Jesus sets before us his vision a vision that is a new view and way of life, a life of meaningful faith in God and in one another. Unlike his fellow Jews, Jesus viewed glory not as the acquisition of power or the ability to control their own destiny after centuries of foreign rule, but he looked at glory as the ability to serve others for a greater purpose, Gods purpose.
Humble prayer to God and humble service for and with his people should be what we are about and this is what our Lenten journey is all about. Lent is a time to refocus our spiritual selves to be what god asks us and wants us to be humble servants of one another empowered by a life lived in faith. Lent is the journey into the gentle and humble heart of our faith which began in the upper room on the first Holy Thursday all those years ago. A few days ago at the early mass in our local parish a sense of wonder filled my mind at what we were celebrating at that time and have been celebrating as Christians for two thousand and twelve years after the event actually happened. Two thousand plus years of celebrating the love of god present with us day and daily in all our ups and downs which are our everyday lives. The treasure we have in the sacramental life of the Church is beyond doubt and we need to value the sacraments especially our Eucharistic sharing in our Masses on Sundays and on a daily basis more and more.
It is often said that our treasure is where our heart is and we store up true treasure when we carve out time for prayer, for reading scripture celebration of the Eucharist and confession as well as all the other spiritual things that we are asked to do during this time of renewal and throughout our lives. If we do these things or at least some of them then we will be able to celebrate Holy week and Easter with renewed hearts minds and souls.
Glory to you, O Lord our God.
Your love calls us to be your people.
By sharing our many and diverse gifts
we share in your mission.
We ask you, Lord,
to shape us into a community of faith.
Nourish us by your word and sacraments that we may grow into the image of Jesus.
Through the power of your Holy Spirit, heal us that we,
in turn, may heal the wounded.
Form us to be instruments of love, justice, and peace in our land , and send us to proclaim your saving work.
renew us, Lord, that we may renew the face of the earth. Amen