Greetings on this the Fifth Sunday of Lent Year B
Readings: Jer 31:31-34; PS 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15; Heb 5:7-9; Jn 12:20-33
Note: This homily will be given at the 9:00 AM Mass live streamed.
The entirety of chapter 31 of the book of the prophet Jeremiah is the promise of the ingathering or the return.
Since as far back as the Assyrian forced relocation of the Jewish people from Israel to the farthest reaches of their empire, the diaspora continued through the succession of conquering empires of the Holy Lands.
It is understood the diaspora reached parts of India to the East.
To all Jews scattered far and wide the message was passed alone. The time of your exile and diaspora has come to an end.
From all over the ancient regions of the Greek world the Jews came to hear the message of the Messiah in the city of Jerusalem. When they presented themselves to the Apostles and the Apostles to Jesus, Jesus knew that the message had reached the ends of the earth.
It is observable that the distance from the northern parts of India to Jerusalem is about 3,333 miles. Interesting and a very long way.
Good News – Return
The Good News of the Return – the Lord declares through Jeremiah –
With age-old love I have loved you.
Come, let us go to Zion, to the Lord, our God.
Many traveled the Road of Return to see for themselves the Messiah.
I will gather them, from the ends of the earth.
The One who scattered Israel now gathers them.
Rachael shall mourn no longer.
All Israel is summoned to return home.
The hen has gathered her brood.
Road Signs – Gospel message
Setp up road markers.
put up signposts.
Come to the Tent of Justice, the Holy Mountain that is Jesus.
The use of Psalm 51, the repentance psalm, for our responsorial psalm is a part of the return. It isn’t simply a navigation of 3,000 miles but a reorientation of the heart to right relation with God and man.
The use of the Letter to the Hebrews, the supplication, is also a part of the return. Jesus, the Christ, offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears, not to save himself alone, but to save all those he loves.
Obedience and suffering brings about for us deification or perfection according to our capacities to assist in attaining salvation for all.
- In place
- In repentance
- In prayer
- In service
Glory of the Son
Unless a grain of wheat shall fall upon the ground and die, it remains just a grain, but in its death and regeneration bear much fruit. The mission of Jesus is not costless. It is the entirety of the divine placing himself as propitiation for humanity and its desperate condition.
Glory of the Father and Son
Is in the ingathering.
The inner dialog of JOY that the news has reached the farthest scattered of the House of Israel.
Father Glorify Your Name
Here the divine love is expressed – Son love of the Father, Father giving of his love.
We are allowed to hear this interior discussion as a gift to strengthen our faith in the Lord. But not all heard it as such.
Jesus predicts he will be lifted up, crucified, and will draw everyone to himself. The ingathering is for all peoples.
Law written upon the hearts.
Evidence of the new Covenant is a willingness to die to self and serve the Lord.
Be a grain of wheat, die to self and offer service to the Lord.
Peace be with you,