Celebrating easter

Pope Francis' 2020 Lenten Message

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The Fifth Week of Lent

This week is filled with drama.  We continue to prepare ourselves to be open to God's graces.  We continue to try to choose Lent, to act Lent, in very concrete ways.  We are examining our patterns and realigning our priorities.  Our hearts are being renewed, as we experience God's reconciling love and beg for the gift of healing.

All this is wonderfully supported by the drama of the daily liturgies.  We begin with the raising of Lazarus (and we may celebrate the Scrutinies). During the week, we have powerful stories about the accusation against Susanna, a healing image lifted up in the desert, the three faithful witnesses who survive the fiery furnace, the account of God's covenant with Abram, Jeremiah's fearful trust in the midst of the plot against him, and Ezekiel's incredible vision of restoration of the nation - that God will make a new and everlasting covenant.

Each of these readings is matched with a gospel from John.  We hear about witnesses and testimony and judgment, about his being lifted up (on the cross and in glory), about the freedom/liberation he has come to bring, about himself as the fulfillment of God's covenant, the new and everlasting covenant.  And, we can feel the opposition rising against him.  And we grow in devotion, and grace, as we realize that it is all “for me.”

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