We are invited to pray to the God of peace with the joy that comes through our being reconciled with God through Jesus Christ. We pray with a new notion of a God of peace Whose constant labor is for our ongoing creation resulting in peaceful union.
We are bidden also to pray with our eagerness to celebrate the realities of Easter. There is the old Latin phrase, “Hasten, slowly.” We can pray with patience and to linger with these days of waking up to who God says we are in our Baptisms.
We may reflect as well on our need for a Savior, a Jesus to free us. We can pray as well for a deeper sense of the areas of our lives which are not quite living yet.
The “hour” is drawing near. Next weekend we will hold palms and begin our recalling of the “Christ-Over” or final expression of the same faithful love revealed in the first Exodus. The “hour” is close for Jesus in today’s Gospel. The “time” is coming in the First Reading when the words of Jeremiah will be fulfilled for the comfort of the people of Israel in bondage. They had broken the bond of love God initiated with them after the exodus from Egypt. They had not followed the precepts of the law and had taken their land as a sign of their own identity rather than the sign of God’s identifying them as God’s own beloved.
There is then a kind of “second Exodus” out of bondage and instead of an external law, this “new Covenant” will be written deeply on the hearts. They will know from deep inside them that they are God’s people and God will be their “one God.” God promises to forgive and forget, only recalling the love which created them and then recreated them as the Holy People of God’s
own heart. They will know this and keeping the laws of fidelity and reverence will be expressions of faith rather than fear.
The remaining verses combine a reflection for those who will be his true followers with a pre-visit to his own struggle which is his own “agony in the Garden.” For John, “glory” is Jesus at his most regal and that is, his being enthroned on the cross. The “voice” from heaven is John’s version of Luke’s “angel” comforting Jesus in that garden.
Jesus has revealed the “glory” of God and will do even more by his passion and death for which he is preparing to suffer and we are preparing to celebrate. He will draw all to him as he is lifted up both on the cross and raised in his resurrection. The “voice” is also a comfort for us who have heard his call to die to our own godhoods and like the grains of wheat, rise and flourish to an abundant way of living. We need our comforting as well.
The law of love was written in Jesus’ heart and he grew to accept his mission of giving life to the point of giving his own life to begin the process of completing creation. He will fall into the earth and rise to bring us and all to the glorification of the creating and redeeming God. He loved his life and mission to the end; he was obedient to his own person and place. What was written on his heart, we share through baptism. We know somewhere deeply in our souls that true living does come through loving our lives in Christ and “hating” our lives as if they were our own creation, we were our own destiny. How could we “hate” what God has given us and given the Christ to bless, call and save. If Jesus loved his life even to his death, then we who live in, with and through him, follow him through the same passage and pattern to our resurrections and the glorification of God.
As easy as this is to write, I quiver at its truth and tremble in its call. Today’s Eucharist is the “voice” again comforting us to live what we are collectively and individually preparing to celebrate in these coming days and live these coming weeks, months and years even to our deaths.
Tomorrow, in the Church’s liturgical calendar, The Annunciation to Mary, that the Word of God was to take flesh in her body, will be celebrated. The Holy Infinite was come to begin the construction of the world as God’s Kingdom.
“Whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” John 3, 21
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