Today’s message of God is clear about the purpose of the Passion His Son is about undergo; it is the fulfillment of His promise of the New Covenant. The time of exile is about to end, God tells his people that he is changing the form through which He will keep his covenant among his people. This is exactly how Christ comes to fulfill the Law and the prophets: He moves the Law from being external to his people, and therefore strange and hard to observe to a more personal experience of it. From now on the Law is inscribed in the heart of every child of God, for God himself teaches it to his people.
Learning from Christ and imitating him is the path to the fulfillment of the new Law, the new Commandment. The first step to fulfilling the commandment is to be obedient to God and His word. The Letter to the Hebrews tells us that it is through obedience that Christ has become the source of eternal life for anyone who follows Him. Obedience is the virtue that makes us surrender to God’s will and trust in Him and the only source of our life. Obedience helps us discover the will of God in every event that surrounds our life, even the most unusual and challenging. Obedience to God allows to see the hand of God at work in our life, teaching us to open not our human eyes but our eyes of faith. The latter will help us see from a different perspective the events and situations in our life and in the world.
But where does obedience lead us? For one, obedience makes us remember that we are but a grain called to grow to a tree able to bear fruits pleasing to God and making difference in the world. Secondly, obedience teaches us that for us to bear fruits, we have to die to ourselves. This is the very meaning of the message of today’s gospel. Christ our Light and our Life shows us the way. Through obedience He humbled Himself and accepted death in order to rise in glory. Likewise, we are reminded that obedience will lead us to recognize ourselves as fragile vessels in which the Law of the new Covenant is inscribed. The Law of love that can be fulfilled only if and when we accept to die to ourselves in order to share in the glory of Christ at the resurrection.
As we intensively prepare for the celebration of the Passion of our Lord next Sunday, we are invited to reflect more deeply on what refrains us from accepting to die to ourselves with Christ. The time God puts an end to our exile has come. He brings us back to Him from our wanderings. The Law of Love that signifies the covenant is in us and within us. We are called to ponder in our daily life on the effects of life under the new covenant that is no longer outward, but inward, in our hearts and for which our words and deeds are the expression.
Let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.