Saturday, April 01, 2006
5th Sunday of Lent
April 2, 2006
5th Sunday of Lent - B
The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like
the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; for they broke my covenant,
and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD. But this is the
covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,
says the LORD. I will place my law within them and write it upon their
hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer
will they have need to teach their friends and relatives how to know
the LORD. All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD,
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.
In the days when Christ Jesus was in the flesh, he offered prayers and
supplications with loud cries and tears to the one who was able to save
him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Son though
he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was
made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to
Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we
would like to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and
Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for
the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a
grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of
wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life
loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for
eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there
also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. "I am
troubled now. Yet what should I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify
your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and
will glorify it again." The crowd there heard it and said it was
thunder; but others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered
and said, "This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is
the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be
driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw
everyone to myself." He said this indicating the kind of death he would
We cannot see many of life's most important things such as air, ideas,
courage, love, or God's grace. We can, however, see the effects of
their presence. The things touched by the wind, the song of the birds,
the courage of friends to speak the truth, a man and woman pledging
their love and commitment in marriage.
In today's Gospel, some Greeks ask to see Jesus. The apostles point out
Jesus and invite the Greeks to listen. But what would be more
convincing than anything else is if they could see the apostles' lives
transformed by Jesus' message? Jesus will eventually no longer be
visible in the way that his contemporaries saw him. He will be
glorified and will return to the Father. How could people see him then?
And how can people see him today?
We can see Jesus the same way we can see the wind, the birds in their
songs, power of an idea, the depth of courage, the reality of human
love, or openness to God's grace. We see these things by the change
they make in a person's life. A good tree bears good fruit. We don't
see Jesus as the apostles saw him. We cannot see him with our bodily
eyes, but we can experience him. We can encounter him.
We long to see a Jesus who knows what is in our hearts, who knows how
difficult it is sometimes to do the right thing, who knows our efforts
and our weaknesses, and is ready to lay down his life for our sake.
None of this can happen unless we see the effects of Jesus' presence in
the lives of other people. We read or heard about the canonized Saints,
people whose lives radiated God's presence and compassionate love. We
remember Saints like Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, and Ignatius
of Loyola, Francis Xavier, and Lorenzo Ruiz.
We also know saintly people even though they were not officially
canonized. For us Jesuits, we can recall such holy persons like the
saintly Fr. Pedro Arrupe, the late Superior General of the Jesuits.
Here in the Philippines, there is Fr. John Pollock, and Fr. Benigno
Dagani, two cheerful dedicated missionaries in Mindanao, models of
simplicity, poverty, and compassion. They were well-loved by the
people. We remember these faith-filled people.
It's not enough that we be on the receiving end of such deep-down faith
and compassionate love; we need to be on the giving end. How can we do
that? We can help others by guiding them along their faith journey.
Today, many people, especially the youth, are searching for meaning in
life. The traditional dogmatic approach of the Church often turns them
off. What they need is the witnessing of Christians, whose lives stand
as testimonies of God's love for humankind - Christians, who can
integrate a deep Gospel spirituality with their daily concerns. We can
witness by our prayer in easy times, but especially in tough times.
Not every Eucharist can be the high point of our life, but our faith
might help make one particular celebration a high point of someone
Then there is the witness of the work of charity, done not for
recognition and praise, but because it is Christ, who is hungry, naked,
sick, or in some other need, our solidarity with the suffering -
especially when we lack the words or the ability to make their pain go
away, our concern for those who are grieving can be signs of God's
"We would like to see Jesus," people are saying to us. This Eucharist
renews our faith and helps us to share it through words and lives
overflowing with Jesus' compassionate love.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the speedy recovery and spiritual healing of Primitiva Guan
- for the speedy recovery of Nieves Pilapil.
- for the personal intentions of Nery Ramos.
- healings for Ian, Fr Steve, Carol, Cindy R, Mary Ann, Charlie J
and Peggy O.
- for the personal intentions of Charles and Cheryl C.
- for the quick recovery of Rita de los Reyes.
- for the personal intentions of Dr Cip de los Reyes.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam (+): Yu Ba Lee
- Prayer Intention: Cacha
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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