Fifth Sunday of Lent
The last Sunday of March 1991, happened to be Easter Sunday. At about 6:00 a.m. – at sunrise – my mother died following a three-year struggle with cancer. I feel a deep connection between that day and today’s Lenten message.
My parents raised a family of eleven children; there are nine girls, my brother and me. Being the mother of a large family was a great achievement, but it also exerted a huge physical and human toll. A comment was made when she died that, “All that was left in the end was love.”
This Lent our worship community has recovered something of God's grace and mercy embedded deep in the reality and mystery of Jesus’ “weakness,” which is to say, our humanity. Jesus proclaimed: “Whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” Hebrews states: “Son though He was, He learned obedience from what He suffered.” As much as I may have not wanted my mother to suffer as she did, her “weakness” became a mirror of the covenantal love that was the law of her heart even in her dying.
The Gospel tells us Jesus was troubled by the knowledge of what was to happen to Him. Yet the voice that glorified Him also came for our sake. Let us pray to God so that our prayer may be more like Jesus’ own.
Gracious God, be with us in our prayer, now and always. Help us to be obedient to the lessons our own weakness teaches us about Your love for us. We make our prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Fr. Marcel Rainville, S.S.E. ‘67, Director of Formation for the Society of St. Edmund
First Reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-15
Second Reading: Hebrews 5:7-9
Gospel: John 12:20-33
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website