Sunday 18 March 2018

Fifth Sunday of Lent 2018

Fifth Sunday of Lent 2018

This is the last week of lent where there are two set of options for readings. I did not know what our church would be doing so I have read each a few times this week. But it is also a deepening of the season of lent. There are no plants on the altar. Christ is covered up, both behind the altar and the cross used in the procession. In a way the altar feels stark and bare. But in that paring down we are drawn into the upcoming passion. Next week is psalm Sunday, a great celebration, but also the beginning of the passion week.  

The first is:

First Reading Jeremiah 31:31-34
Responsorial Psalm 51: 1-2, 10-13 Response 10
Second Reading Hebrews 5:7-9
Gospel John 12:20-33

And the second is:

First Reading Ezekiel 37:12-14
Responsorial Psalm 130: 1-8, Response 7
Second Reading Romans 8:8-11
Gospel John 11:1-45

In the sermon tonight at mass Deacon Ed MacIntosh, spoke powerfully about how our culture prepares for almost everything, except death. And death indeed is coming for us all. In Catholic theology there are numerous books, and talks about the four last things; Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell. In fact a quick search on turns up almost 300 books, is almost 1200. And google turns up almost 4 million results. And that is part of our focus this week. As Catholics, as Christians we believe in a life here after, and we believe that what we do here should be preparing us for that. And lent is our annual refocus.  

The response today from the first reading options is:

Create in me a clean heart, O God.

That is my prayer, today and every day. As lent is drawing to its conclusion let us indeed prepare him the way and be preparing for the four last things.

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