5th Sunday of Lent
(Sunday 18th March 2018)
To read the Gospel of the 5th Sunday of Lent, please click here
The Gentle and Constant call of Christ – (John 12:20-33)
“And when I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men to myself”. Jn 12:32.
This coming weekend we will be celebrating the feast of St Patrick, our national patron and a saint particularly close to my heart. Often I think we almost gloss over many of the great sacrifices he made to bring our ancestors the faith, to introduce them to the sacraments. Think about it, he left his homeland behind knowing that he would never return home, simply because he heard what he calls the voice of the Irish; “O Holy youth come walk once more among us”. Even still today missionaries leave their homes; I always admire them as they make a great sacrifice. What if this voice was not coming from God, or what if he had thought he heard them but didn’t? Overtime he had grown deeply into a great love for God, when he heard the voice of the Irish calling to him, he knew this was Gods plan for him, which for him would mean a death to self.
Many saints have made great sacrifices, because Christ has made the perfect sacrifice of Himself on the cross, by enduring His great passion and death for us on Calvary. The gospel today comes from the very end of Jesus preparing, and instructing them as His passion and death is about unfold before their eyes. His passion and death is necessary for a number of reasons as He spells out; while His death appears as a disaster it’s really His throne of glory, and where He is going we are being called to follow, He must die to open the gates of heaven for all people, Jesus explains to His disciples. He is going to endure all this suffering, pain and death to show to us the great love that He has for us sinners. Firstly however He is going to endure everything, because it is the will of His father, He has heard the call of God the Father speaking to Him, He loves the Father and can refuse nothing God the Father asks of Him.
Therefore we can say; God Himself has been there first, in turn He has asked many great sacrifices of the great saints in the past, yet still He is asking of us to make sacrifices for Him. Sometimes we hear His call very clearly, other times it can be a call that is very difficult to hear or understand, or it can be difficult to understand the call, but the call of Christ is very clear in today’s Gospel. We are called to follow the example of Christ, to follow the example of St Patrick and the many other saints, first the call to imitate His life of holiness, and secondly in a particular way in our vocations. For many that requires a great sacrifice, but He does not leave us alone, as He has already made the great sacrifice of giving His life for us.
Fr. Sean Crowley
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