5th Thursday of Lent
Genesis 17: 3-9; John 8: 51-59
Saint Augustine wrote: “For you Christ allowed Himself to be crucified, to teach you humility. He was alive, and you were dead. He died that you might live. God vanquished death so that death might not overcome the human race” (Sermon on John 2, 4; 14, 13). This is our hope and our constant assurance. Even though we see the corruption and fragility of our lives, we have reason to trust in God’s Word because He is faithful, loving and kind. During these last days of lent, we are reminded of the Saviors’ fidelity to His Father and His self-sacrificing love for us. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews puts it this way: “We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is now seated at the right hand of the Throne of God” (Heb. 12:2).
The obedience of faith was the journey placed before the People of God. The invitation to leave all that we hold dear is offered to us. If we are willing to lose all for the sake of the Kingdom, we will be awarded a crown of glory. Following the example of the Shepherd of our Souls, we must make ourselves nothing so that He can clothe us in His likeness (Cf. Phil. 2:6-7). Let us not grow weary or faint under trials and afflictions. When we grow weary, let us remember the Lord’s passion and fidelity. When we feel overburdened, let us listen to the words of the Lord. May His voice echo in our hearts. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mat. 11: 28-29).
“Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who find life burdensome and oppressive to know and love you. Amen.”