Scripture reflections for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year A), 2 April 2017.
First reading: Ezekial 37: 12-14.
Second reading: Romans 8: 8-11
Responsorial psalm: Psalm 129
Gospel: John 11:1-45
As we journey further into Lent, we accompany Jesus into a gathering darkness, but Jesus never leaves us there. As the darkness deepens, Jesus recalls and offers us glimmers of light and hope from his tradition; glimmers that nourish and sustain him, and that confirm his confidence in the covenant fidelity of his beloved Abba.
I try to focus my thoughts and desires on God, present with me now, and continuing to call me to live the values Christ teaches through his Holy Spirit who dwells in me.
I read the prayer once or twice, pondering its meaning and speaking to the Lord about the desires it inspires in me. I notice any selfishness or ‘darkness’ of sin in my own life to which God draws my attention, and I humbly ask for his merciful forgiveness and healing.
I reflect on this world of ours with all its pain, needs, and brokenness and hold it before the Cross of Christ who died to bring new life and hope to all peoples. I ask for the grace to bear any personal suffering with patience and love in union with Jesus, my Saviour.
As we try, during Lent, to recognise the ways in which we fail to respond to God’s love and mercy, this psalm expresses our need for God’s saving love, our trust that he will never fail us, and our longing for his saving presence.
I pray the psalm, deeply aware that despite my sinfulness and lack of love, God always awaits me with forgiveness and loving mercy. I tell him of my sorrow and ask to learn to love as Christ loves.
I stay some time in the loving presence of God, with confidence and trust that he will never abandon me, and I give him thanks.
John 11: 1-45
It might be good to pray this Gospel as an Ignatian contemplation, entering imaginatively into the scene, affirming my own faith in who Jesus is and recognising that his gift of unbinding and freeing is the gift of his redeeming love through his death and resurrection, and is a gift he offers to me.
View next week's reflections here.
Reflections from www.pathwaystogod.org from the Jesuits in Britain.