St. Augustine Catholic Church
Sunday, March 21, 2021
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Dear Church family,
Good News!! We will be going back to our old schedule of two masses starting Sunday, March 28, Palm Sunday at 8 and 10:30 a.m. The reason we are doing this is because we need more room for the number of people who are coming and we still need to maintain ‘social distancing’. Also, we are getting ready to be together again now that people are getting their vaccines. They now call me, “Two-shot Bobby!” because I’ve gotten my shots and a lot of you are ready to have freedom from this pandemic to come back to the Lord’s house. It is almost like in the Scriptures today with the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus and all of us His disciples. We reflect on all of that today. Thank you, Lord!
Jeremiah gives us a good word as does Jesus in the Scriptures. It is the idea of a new covenant. It is exciting and captivating because the Scriptures point to a successful outcome of God’s Plan of Salvation. We are going to make it, but during the Israelites exile and dispersion, which was terrible, Jeremiah is sowing the seeds of promise for a new and more effective covenant. This covenant will be written on their hearts. So, we are getting a good understanding and we can really see that Yahweh is our special God and we are His special people. Even the Greeks sort of want to symbolically learn Jesus’ message, so they also want to be taken to Jesus so that they can meet Him. You can see that they have to go through a couple of channels to see Jesus, but then they are on their way to understanding salvation. On a higher level, they come to meet Jesus in faith and they are going good as we are, too. So, who will they see? A distraught, confused, fearful and terribly troubled Jesus? This kind of Jesus has suffering and sorrowful. But from His cross, His father glorifies His son for His obedient submission. So, at Jesus’ Crucifixion, an exchange of glory will take place and He glorifies His Father and His Father is accepting of his act of self-giving, the Father bestows the gift of the Holy Spirit. All this happens as Jesus relates to His disciples His sadness and the amount of suffering He will have to endure and that they will also eventually endure. It is tough to be His disciple at this time, but we are trying all the more to do that. Jesus is trying to be truthful by saying, “If you follow me, there are going to be some troubles!” We have troubles everyday but especially here in America where so many are lost to the pandemic. Of course, millions everywhere have crosses of pain, suffering, and death because of this disease, this pandemic especially, but also from poverty, discrimination, and war—so many things. But fathers and mothers, sons and daughters have lost their loved ones without having a final goodbye or a good send off because of this trouble we find ourselves in. But we go on and we continue to think of ourselves as Jesus’ disciples. We have a certain peacefulness and an upbeat attitude. There are many pathways to Glory and disciples, us, have a huge destiny before them but each pathway has its own crucifixion and resurrection. So as Jesus would show His followers only through death will there be new life. Death is not the end but the new beginning that has no end. So, church family, it is a good message for us today with this new covenant that we want to have with Jesus. Amen! Thank you, Lord!