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Pray With Us (weekly reflection)

Reflection for March 18, 2018
 Fifth Sunday of Lent

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

In Jeremiah we read "I took them by the hand and lead them but they broke the covenant."  In Hebrews Jesus offers prayer to his Father amid cries and tears.  He obediently accepts suffering.  In John's Gospel Jesus asked for his Father to save him from this hour.  But this hour is what Jesus has been moving to all his life.  So John says that he does not want to be preserved from this moment; according to John he embraces it.  It is the purpose for which he came.  Jesus does not break his covenant with God but will be lifted on the cross which will bring both his death and resurrection, the ultimate fulfillment of his hour.

Jesus, help us commit ourselves as you did to the fulfillment of our lives.  We all experience grief, loss, or suffering at some point in our lives.  For some of us, these sufferings shape our lives, other experiences only jar us momentarily.  Jesus, by his life, tells us that we may have to die to one thing and let go of it for God to do something new in our lives.  Let us take our everyday experiences to prayer--it may not change the outcome--but it could certainly change our perspective.  May God be with us.

Marge Wissman, osf