Newsletter — Fifth Sunday of Lent B—17th March 2024

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Reading I: Jeremiah 31:31-34Psalm: Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
Reading II: Hebrews 5:7-9Gospel: John 12:20-33

Summary of the Readings:
First reading: God promises to establish a new covenant with the divided tribes of Judah and Israel. The prophecy reflects on their history of covenant breaches, that transitioned their spousal relationship with God to a master-servant dynamic. There is an undertone of God’s sorrow within the text due to the rejection of His intimacy by the people of God.

Psalm: The great penitential psalm of David furthers the theme of the New Covenant, by the promise of the Spirit resulting in a new creation of the heart. Further more, this indicates the role of the Holy Spirit as the embodiment of the New Law in the New Covenant.

Second reading: We are challenged by the idea that the incarnate Lord could learn anything or be made more perfect, however, though He was a perfect man, through His willingness to suffer and die, He learns a form of perfect human obedience that divinizes His own humanity.

Gospel: In the Gospel we hear about how the Greeks are seeking Jesus. This is a sign that His time is drawing near. Jesus alludes to His glorification taking place on the cross, not where He is judged but where He will judge the world. God’s supreme life giving love redeems the world. Jesus makes His life a gift of love that produces life in our souls.

Practical Application: We are called to emulate Jesus by learning obedience through our suffering. This increases our trust and love of the Lord. Though this can be challenging, we must remember that we are not saved despite our sufferings, but through them, in union with Christ’s perfect offering.

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