Pastor's Desk: 5th Sunday of Lent
Greetings one & all! Welcome to our gathering on this Fifth Sunday of Lent. Our season of Lent is moving closer to its conclusion in the dramatic events of Holy Week which begins next Sunday. In our Gospel today, Jesus reflects on what He will have to go through and He tells His disciples and us too, that He is fearful about it all, he says; “Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say: Father save me from this hour?” Jesus is both the Son of God and the Son of Man; that is defined in our faith, and it would be wrong to think that His divinity meant he didn’t feel all the human emotions that life generates in us. If that was the case, then he wouldn’t have lived a human life. Yet Jesus expresses real fear in our Gospel today. But He knows that salvation cannot be achieved without this suffering. He must be the “Grain of wheat that dies and brings forth a rich harvest”.
He then calls on His followers, including us today, to follow His example, not by death on a cross but by “dying to ourselves”. What does that mean? Well it means putting the needs of others ahead of ourselves. We have lived through the boom years where arrogance and self absorption were the traits most on display. We didn’t only see this with the wealthy in our society but at all levels. I remember well when you would be hard pressed in shops/ supermarkets to get the attention of staff as they ran about doing their “business” or worse still a full scale conversation would be had at the till between staff as though you weren’t there at all! Now, of course, they are delighted so see customers. But all of us fell into the trap of only seeing as far as the end of our nose. Jesus calls us to “die” to our selfish ways and give ourselves freely to others. We do this by sharing our talents and abilities, whatever they maybe, with the community. There are loads of ways to give something back. Let us look around and see what we are being called to do.