Fifth Sunday of Lent – B
March 22, 2015
THE DAYS ARE COMING; THE HOUR HAS COME!
Today is a day of hope. We are looking forward to the prophesied “days” that are “coming.” This, too, is what we did last week, Laetare Sunday, more than midway through the discipline of Lent. We were told to be glad and rejoice, despite the fasting, praying, and almsgiving (that is, if we did it!).
But today takes the promise and prophecy to a whole new, and higher, level! We are told by Jeremiah wherefore rejoice … “The days are coming, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Judah.”
I don’t know about you, folks, but I really do need a boost in the arm. I need a generous dose of Vitamin H – hope … hope that brings new enthusiasm to my waning years … hope that brings new life to a world made wan and pale by wanton criminality and acts of terrorism … here, there and everywhere.
I don’t need more of the other H – hubris and humility’s nemesis – that leads us to so many humongous challenges and problems as a people, as nation states, as oftentimes clueless hoi polloi, misled and misinformed – and, definitely misguided by a manipulative government that runs everything just for show.
But the days are coming! Oh how I pine for those days when indeed, the covenant will flow freely, and compliance and fidelity to it will run unabated all through human culture and human organizations set up to assure its fulfillment and execution.
The days are coming! There is urgency in the tone of Jeremiah, who never was a man in a hurry. He was, in fact, even a reluctant prophet. He did not like to be bearer of bad news, and be disliked and hated in the process.
But this one thing, Jeremiah did! With love. With passion. With panache.
So what signs of hope do we now hold on to? Let me enumerate them …
First, it will be new, not the same old and stale talk of renewal. Second, it will be different, “not like the covenant I made with their fathers the day I took them by the hand.” Third … this is the new thing …”I will place the law within them and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
Ooops! This got me thinking! All this convicts me. It is new. It is different. It is internal to me, within me. I cannot blame God. I cannot lay blame to anyone else, for it is about me. Within me. It devolves upon me to consider Him as God, as He considers me His own!
And here is where the reality really bites. For not only the days are coming … In reality, the HOUR HAS COME! The time has come. And this time, it is no longer God who will do everything. It will no longer be God alone who will actualize and make everything real.
This hour is for me. This is my finest hour. This is the moment for me to rise and shine!
Of course, this is the hour of Christ’s glorification, for “the time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
But make no mistake about it. This is your hour, my hour, our hour, our time to allow Christ’s glorification to take full effect in our lives.
And this is what we are now called to do to make that hour happen:
1. Fall like a grain of wheat and die!
2. Bear much fruit
3. Lose one’s life for God’s sake and for others’ sake
4. Serve Christ and follow Him
This is the hour for me and you to do our part. And yes, never forget: “The Father will honor whoever serves me,” says the Lord.
Now, that truly is our finest hour! And it is coming. It will come. It has come. Today. For all days. In all ways. For always.