Already it is the Fifth Sunday in Lent. Soon the Church will enter its holiest week as She re-enacts the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. We hear Jesus speaking with his disciples in the Gospel: “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father save me from this hour?’ It was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” (John 12:20-33)
Looming over us will be the trial of the Church played out everyday in the media. While we will hear nothing new, we will hear over and over again painful things, I am sure, that will not be easy. Yet, through this I believe, in the end, we will be a better Archdiocese, a better parish, and a holier people. “For unless a grain of wheat dies, it remains just a grain of wheat.” “But if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (John 12:20-33) Here is our hope: that our suffering and death though unpredictable will strengthen our faith to sing with the psalmist: “Create a clean heart in me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me.”
God is with us my friends, so, as an Archdiocese as well as a parish and within our families, we must cling to the gift God has given us, our faith in Jesus who is the source of eternal salvation for all who seek Him. In the Opening Collect today we prayed, by your help may we walk with the same love your Son possesses when he hands himself over to death. We too, have been led through our Lenten observances to this moment. We have not come here by ourselves. God has led us here to listen to His voice and to encounter His presence in this Church.
Jeremiah too says, “The days are coming, when I will make you a new covenant.” It will not be an old covenant where you are comfortable and have become complacent. “I will be your God and You will be my People.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34) God assures us that in this new way, “the greatest and the least shall know me.” It will be through this humility Paul says that Jesus learned obedience, and ‘became the source of salvation for all who obey him.’(Hebrews 5:7-9)
The Gospel reveals the plan for our salvation: if you want to see Jesus hear these words, “Whoever serves me must follow me.” “Whoever loves his life in this world loses it for the next and whoever hates his life on this earth will preserve it for eternal life.” (John 12:20-33)
My friends this is the time to surrender your worries, anxieties, fear and weaknesses to the Lord Who is strong and merciful and, claim the faith He gives you! Allow these holy days to lead you where you ought to be, in this holy Church. Pray for God’s mercy and forgiveness in your own life and contribute to the holiness of all our lives. Now is the time! Let God’s humility and the Church’s be our own. “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (John 12:20-33)
If you want to see Jesus, look for Him in the Church and you will find Him.