Thoughts on the Readings for the 5th Sunday of Lent (B) 2015

Click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser for this Sunday’s readings. 

“Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”   These words from our Gospel today were spoken to Philip by “some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast.”   Notice that the Greeks only wanted to meet Jesus and not necessarily follow him.  I think we sometimes take a similar approach to Jesus.   We keep Jesus at a safe distance, most likely fearful of what he might ask of us.   And to be honest there is some validity to this fear.  I say this, because a few verses later in our Gospel today Jesus says:   “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.”   These words remind us that following Jesus does not guarantee a life free of difficulties, trials, or uncertainties.   Rather in trying to follow Jesus in this life we know that ultimately we will be led to eternal life.   

Our first reading this Sunday is from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah.   In the section we read this Sunday the Lord promises to make a new covenant “with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”   This new covenant is necessary because the people had broken the old covenant God had made with them.   The terms of the new covenant are simple.  “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord.   I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts.  I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”  

Our second reading this Sunday is a short selection from the Letter to the Hebrews.   It reminds that Jesus “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered; and when he was made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

1.  Have you ever felt yourself keeping your distance from Jesus, perhaps fearful of what he might ask of you?  
2. What do you think God meant when he said he would write God’s law upon the people’s hearts? 
3.  The letter to the Hebrews spoke of obeying Jesus.  I think, though, the word “obey” sometimes has some negative connotations.  Is this true for you?  If so, what word would you use instead?    



1. Yes, I quake at least a little every time I pray, "Thy will be done," because I never know what I am getting myself into. It takes faith, as in " a leap of." Taking a leap in anything is scary, but I cannot seem to experience faith any other way.
2. If God has written a law on my heart, I cannot help but feel that God wants me to promise that the law be obeyed. The idiom, "Cross my heart and hope to die," seems appropriate here. Is this where the expression originated? I wonder.
3. The word "obey" can connote an oppressively dictatorial tone. I might prefer "honoring a promise" to "obeying a law."

1. Yes, I can definitely relate to this. it's not that I purposefully keep a distance from Him, I try to grow closer and work on our relationship, but there's often a hesitance of heart when I feel I'm being offered a path that I don't necessarily want or feel comfortable taking.
2. Since Jesus is the New Law and the New Covenant, I think it means that Christ lives in us and in our hearts. (having the law written or inscribed on our hearts seems pretty permanent which is awesome! there's nothing we can do or not do that would erase Christ from our hearts :)
3. "obey" refers to obedience, which is recognizing someone's authority. So as with most things, authority can be abused, which is probably the reason for the negative connotation. BUT I like the use of "obey"; to recognize the authority of Christ, obedience to Jesus...I'm down with that.


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
9 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.