Fifth Sunday of Lent (B)

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified, Jesus says in today’s Gospel[1].

The Hour has finally come for him, we can say that Jesus has been waiting for this Hour from the moment He became incarnate in the womb of His Mother. Just a few days after His birth, one of the Magi gave the baby Jesus a gift of Myrrh, a burial spice, perhaps a prophecy perhaps a gift to use when the Hour came… Forty days after his birth, at His Presentation in the Temple, an elderly man named Simeon took him in his arms, and told his Mother One day the Hour will come for this child, an Hour which will pierce your heart like a sword, and shortly after His baptism in the Jordan at age 30, in a wedding party at Cana the wine runs out and Jesus says My Hour has not yet come… Now, three years after the wedding at Cana, the Hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

Jesus in those three years has accomplished much: he has preached with authority as no other human before him has, He has converted and forgiven hardened sinners, healed countless sick, expelled demons from the possessed, even cured a man born blind and raised a man from the dead, but all of that, all of the first 33 years of Jesus’ life are but a tiny grain of wheat compared to the abundant fruit which will now flower forth in the Hour of Jesus’ Passion, Death, Burial and Resurrection.

The Hour has come, and Jesus asks us, Could you not watch one Hour with me? My brother, my sister: Jesus invites us these next two weeks of Passiontide to enter into this Hour with Him – to hide out with Him in silent prayer and meditation on His suffering and death to save us from our sins. Jesus invites us especially to enter into the liturgies of Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.

Yes: the season of Lent is drawing to its conclusion: the hour has come, and we may think that the hour referred to in John’s Gospel is the hour of Jesus’ death. It is, but at the same time the evangelist gives us another meaning. He claims that the hour of Jesus’ death is really the hour of his glorification. He further insists that Jesus is glorified, not as a martyr, but as the source of new life for us. We hear this so often that we might fail to realize the reality of this. Jesus’ death brings us new life.

So, the question again arise in front of our eyes and ears: Could you not watch one Hour with me? May our answer be “Yes Jesus, give us the grace to accompany you during your Hour, the Hour when you will be glorified” ■

[1] Sunday 25th March, 2012, Fifth Sunday of Lent. Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34. Create a clean heart in me, O God—Ps 50(51):3-4, 12-15. Hebrews 5:7-9. John 12:20-33. 

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris