Homily for fifth Sunday of Lent B
Our first reading today talks about the Old and the New Covenant; Jeremiah foretells the new and everlasting covenant sealed with the blood of Jesus. “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt,…” The New covenant is a covenant of mercy that embraces everyone, irrespective of nationality and colour. No wonder therefore John noted in our gospel reading today that “among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.” The Greeks love wisdom, they search for truth philosophically and not by faith (1 Cor. 1:22-23). Today, in our gospel reading, philosophers are found among the people of faith and sought to see Jesus. Their presence and their desire to see Jesus is an indication that mere philosophy cannot satisfy our deep seated hunger for the word of God. It is true that we do not really know exactly what they discoursed with Jesus but we are sure that they came to meet with the fountain of knowledge, wisdom and truth.
Every restless heart must find solace in Christ as St. Augustine said; “our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” The Greeks came to Jesus to rest their restless hearts, the so called unbelievers came to Jesus and they were welcomed. Jesus welcomed them because his mission is to draw all men to himself. He said; “when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.” All men he says and not some, no one is excluded from the mercy of God. The Greeks did not probably understand this mercy of God and so thought they may not be welcome, so they had to go through the one they thought was their own brother; Philip, for Philip is a Greek name.
The season of Lent is an opportunity to let ourselves be drawn to Christ who was lifted up from the earth for our salvation. If the Greeks allowed themselves to be drawn by the Spirit, then, much more is expected of us; baptized and confirmed Catholics.
Today, Jesus prepares our minds for the coming events of Good Friday. He calls on each and every one of us to face the cross with faith. His death is not the end of the story but the beginning of the fullness of life in God. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Truth cannot be buried for too long, it will sprout and bear fruits. Jesus is truth, he is goodness itself and so cannot be buried forever. Whatever good thing the devil has taken from your hand and buried will sprout and bear fruits because the Lord said so. The security of our Souls is in the hands of God, especially for those who believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ. We can do nothing about our salvation but only learn to follow where he leads. “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also…”
As we celebrate the Fifth Sunday of Lent and gradually approach the peak of the season, let us renew our faith in God and allow ourselves to be drawn to him.