5th Sunday of Lent Year B

Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34 Hebrews 5:7-9 John 12: 20-33

Theme: Suffering: A path to glory

On this 5th Sunday of Lent Year B, our readings point to the fact that we are getting closer to the Easter mystery of our redemption. The liturgy of today shows us that the journey to eternal life is not an easy one. Thus, as Christians, we must be ready to walk the thorny path that Jesus walked in his crucifixion, death and resurrection; if we truly want to be with him at the end of our earthly pilgrimage.

In the 1st reading from the prophet Jeremiah, he tells us about a new covenant that God is going to make with us; that is the present covenant between us and God.  This is a covenant that shows the depth of God’s love for humanity. He puts his word in our hearts and we are his people and he is our God. A covenant that comes with renewal and newness of life in the life of God’s people; and he will not hold our sins and iniquity against us. We enjoy this, in the sacrament of reconciliation. He gives us the opportunity for us to begin anew and be reunited with him. However, as children of God, we must never take the love and generosity of God fore- granted by not making effort to maintain the grace for holiness of life.

In the letter to the Hebrews, we see the author guiding us through the sufferings and difficulties that Jesus had to go through to win us salvation. By so doing, giving us a road map that we have to follow as followers of Christ, if we desire to be with him at the end of our earthly pilgrimage. It is a journey that entails sufferings and difficulties, and we are admonished to accept the challenges when they come; just like Jesus did willing and with love. Nobody enjoys suffering and difficult moments in life, but it is a path that we must walk if we desire salvation at the end of time. Let us trust God that he will always be with us at such moments in our lives to sustain us and strengthen our faith. Just like the word of God says, “my grace is sufficient for you”. The grace of God will see us through at such moments in our life; he is faithful to his word.

St. John in the gospel reading presents to us very important assertions coming from Jesus, as he prepares his followers for his journey to Calvary. One very important factor that led Jesus to Calvary is his love for us all. To be able to go through this path that Jesus is leading us through, one must be ready to let go and let God. This gives us an insight about the assertion of Jesus that, “he who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life”. Our call to discipleship entails self-giving, allowing God to lead us while we follow him behind; if we truly want to be with him. This simply means our sufferings and difficulties will help us to partake in the joy of God’s glory that Jesus enjoys. Suffice it to say that all the stress and difficulties will worth it at the end of our earthly pilgrimage.

May God grant us the grace to walk this difficult path that will lead us to salvation. Peace be with you. Amen.

Homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp