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03/18/18 Fifth Sunday in Lent - Fr. Damian

How does God bring us into an inseparable bond of love and unity with himself?

God is a covenant-maker who draws men and women to himself in a bond of peace and friendship.

 

God established a covenant with his people when he freed them from slavery in Egypt and brought them to his holy mountain at Sinai. "I will be your God, and you will be my people". But his people time and again broke covenant with him and did not follow his ways - "each did what was right in his or her own eyes". God, nonetheless, continued to send his prophets to draw his people back.

 

In the first reading Jeremiah speaks of God’s covenant with Israel, "I will put my Law within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God and they will be my people."

 

In the second reading we are reminded of Christ's saving work as our savior: "Although he was Son, he learned through suffering what obedience was, and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for those who obey him."

 In the Gospel reading some Greeks wished to see Jesus. Philip and Andrew bring them to listen and to hear Jesus.

Like those Greeks we too wish to see Jesus. We are no longer able to see and listen to him with our bodily eyes and ears. Unable to see Jesus himself, we still are able to see the effects of Jesus' presence in the lives of people who love and follow him.

We read about the canonized saints and beatified whose lives radiated God's presence and compassionate love in extraordinary ways.

 

 We have read about many saintly people, who have been models of simplicity, poverty, compassion and service to others.. We have known people whose suffering rivaled those of the patient man Job who remained steadfast in their trust in God.

We too are called to witness to our faith and trust in Jesus, in what he taught and in how he lived. We too are called to be "salt of the earth" and "light of the world," in our witness to Christ and the Good News.  We can witness by lives of prayer, by works of charity and service to others. We pray that, with God's grace, people may somehow see Jesus in us.

 

Do you believe in the power and victory of Christ's saving cross and resurrection? And are you ready to reject whatever is contrary to God's commands and to trust him for the strength and joy to embrace his will for your life?

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