with God


Sunday Reflection


21st March 2021

...not on laws written on stone...

'If anyone serves me,
 they must follow me'

.... John 12:26a

As our Lenten journey brings us ever nearer
to Jerusalem, this week's lectionary
readings speak of different aspects
of having a covenant relationship with
GOD and promise us the hope of
forgiveness and eternal life
as we try to stay alongside Jesus.

Jeremiah predicts that GOD will establish
a new covenant relationship with the
Chosen People based not
on laws written on stone,
but rather on one written on the hearts
of those who desire a closer connection
with GOD; however the people of
Israel have behaved in the past,
God's new covenant,
written on their hearts,
will overlook all their sins.

They come into a deeper relationship
their merciful God.

The Psalm 51 also speaks of a renewal
of heart and invites us to bring all
our guilt to our compassionate God,
trusting that he will utterly blot out our sins.
We can rejoice knowing that God will renew
our hearts and keep us faithful to him.

The author of the Letter to the Hebrews
describes the relationship that Jesus has
with His Father, Abba.
It is a relationship of trust and obedience,
even in the face of suffering and pain.

The writer tells of the lonely
suffering of Jesus as he might have
prayed in Gethsemane.
Praying and obedience are seen as two aspects
of Jesus' relationship with His Father.

As Jesus experiences the trials and
tribulations of not only being a human being,
but also of being persecuted and
dying at the hands of others,
he realized that he is in touch with the
GOD whom He calls Abba who is working
through him, making him the source
of salvation for all who love him.

In John's Gospel we are presented
with a "hero" in a way which is
dramatically different from what
convention suggests.
We begin to see Jesus at his most human,
he is just like us in that he shares
in the struggles of life by facing
his own human struggle.
He tells us "now my soul is troubled".
(12:27a) These are certainly not the words
we expect to hear from a leader,
from a hero.

Jesus is willing to die so that others might
live a rich and fruitful life.
He uses the analogy of a seed falling
to the earth and dying so that a more abundant
harvest might be produced.

His death and resurrection are the
Hour of Glory, the climax of His human existence
and of His relationship with His Father
while He is on earth.
Jesus himself will die and rise again,
drawing all of us to him.
Like Jesus, we, too,
are made for eternal life,
and are united with him as we serve him.

There are three things we can learn from
the Gospel this weekend:
we should not be afraid to live through
the ups and down of our own lives;
it is ok to admit that we are struggling
when we are and
our lowest points can become the turning
points we need.

This week,
let us ask the Lord for strength as we try
to follow him in love and obedience.
We pray that he will keep us safely by his side
even when our own path leads us to
share in his suffering.

I will be [your] God and
[you] shall be my people.
Jeremiah 31:33b

Have mercy on me,
God, in your kindness.
Psalm 51:1

He [Jesus} became the source of
eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Hebrews 5:9b

Unless a grain of wheat falls
on the ground and dies,
it remains a single grain;
but if it dies,
it yields a rich harvest.
John 12:24

These readings make us focus on our
relationship with God;
we are called to have a
heart-to-heart bond with God.
The key point of the relationship is not
our pleasure and happiness but
our obedience to doing God's will
and seeking to have a close connection
with the God
whom we are privileged to call Abba.

When we think of giving our hearts to Jesus,
do we realize that it implies more than
just our emotions, for it includes giving
of our desires and will power to doing God's will.

During this Lent, have we grown in our
"knowledge" (personal relationship)
of the covenant relationship which
GOD has been offering to us in
and through the life, teaching,
death and resurrection,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit?

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'Abba Father let me be'
sung by Divine Hymnsz
via the link shown below.