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THROUGH THE LITURGICAL YEAR (Vol. 14, n. 16)
5th Sunday of Lent, Year B
March 18, 2018
“JESUS SAVIOR: He Is the Grain of Wheat that Falls on the Ground and Dies”
(+) In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
(A moment of silence)
SONG: A Lenten song, a Eucharistic hymn or another appropriate song may be sung
WORDS OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
The image of the Passover, which is fulfilled in the New Testament of the death and resurrection; the image of the Exodus, the leaving of one’s possessions and the life to which one had become accustomed – an exodus which begins with Abraham and is the fundamental law of the whole sacred history: all try to express this basic movement of auto-liberation from a purely selfish existence. Christ explained this in a more profound way in the law of the grain of wheat … Christ, by his death and resurrection, fulfilled his law of the wheat grain. In the Eucharist, the bread of God, he has truly become the hundredfold fruit on which we live. But in this mystery of the Eucharist, in which it is truly and fully he who lives for us, he asks us day after day to fulfill this law which is the definitive expression of the essence of true love. And so, the essential meaning of love can only be that we abandon our narrow and selfish aims and, coming out of ourselves, begin to live for others.
Leader: God of eternal faithfulness,
your promise of the New Covenant is fulfilled
in the paschal sacrifice of your Son Jesus Christ.
He is the little grain of wheat that falls on the ground and dies
in order to bear abundantly the fruit of saving grace.
In him you have breathed upon us the Spirit of love
and inscribed the law of the wheat grain in our heart.
Grant us the grace to be faithful to our covenantal relationship with you
and to learn, through the example of your Son, to live for others.
May we follow him obediently and devotedly
for he is the head of the people of the New and Eternal Covenant.
He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.
JESUS MASTER TRUTH
Listening to the Word
FIRST READING: Jer 31:31-34
SECOND READING: Heb 5:7-9
GOSPEL READING: Jn 12:20-33
POINTS FOR REFLECTION
Today’s Gospel reading (Jn 12: 20-33) speaks of the “hour” in which Jesus would be “glorified”, which means, God would reveal his radical power in the saving event of his Son Jesus. The “hour” of glorification would entail a death and birthing process similar to that of a germinating seed. Jesus affirms: “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.” In today’s Gospel passage, the paschal image of a germinating and fruitful seed is reinforced and clarified by a reference to the suffering that Jesus would endure on the cross: “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” The season of Lent is an opportune time to be intimately united with Jesus in his sacrifice on the cross and to incarnate in our life the miracle of the “little grain” that dies in order to bear abundant fruits.
SONG: A Lenten song, a Eucharistic hymn or any appropriate song may be sung.
JESUS MASTER WAY
Confrontation with the Word
POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART
Leader: We open our hearts to listen to the promptings of the living Word. Let us ask ourselves with limpid honesty:
1. How do we welcome the gift of the New Covenant won for us by Christ’s life-giving sacrifice?
2. How do we replicate in our lives the mystery of the little grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies to produce abundant fruits?
3. How do we imitate the obedient stance and the priestly sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ? Do we strive to love Christ more intimately who is the source of eternal salvation?
PRAYING WITH THE WORD
Leader: Loving Father,
we thank you for the gift of the New Covenant,
sealed in the blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
He is the little grain of wheat
that falls into the ground and dies
to produce the abundant fruits of salvation.
His “reverent submission” to your saving will
earned for us our eternal salvation.
Help us to be intimately united
with the priestly sacrifice of your Servant-Son on the cross
and thus share in his ultimate victory over death and sin.
By his redemptive passion
and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit,
transform the suffering and anguish
that we encounter in our daily life
into the joy of Easter.
May we always live as true children of the New Covenant,
now and forever.
SONG: A Lenten song, a Eucharistic hymn or any appropriate song may be sung
Acting upon the Word
CONTEMPLATING WITH MARY THE FACE OF CHRIST: The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary may be prayed in part or in full.
THE WAY OF SOLIDARITY: PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
Leader: Let us earnestly pray to our loving and merciful God and say:
(R.) LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER.
1. For the Holy Father’s Intention for Evangelization for this month of March: Formation in Spiritual Discernment: That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels. We pray: (R.)
2. That Christian endeavors to help the needy may be blessed by the Lord and that there be may be a more concerted charitable response to the plight of today’s persecuted Christians. We pray: (R.)
3. That the “elect” and those journeying toward full communion with the Catholic Church may continue to receive light and strength as they prepare for the Easter sacraments. We pray: (R.)
4. That there may be a faithful and loving response to the New Covenant inaugurated by Jesus Christ with his saving blood and that we may incarnate the life-giving principle of the little grain of wheat that falls on the ground and dies in order to bear abundant fruit.
We pray: (R.)
5. That the passion and suffering of today’s persecuted Christians may be turned into joy and glory, that peace and harmony may reign in our troubled world, that the youth of today may be strengthened inwardly and experience the splendor of Christ’s light, that the bereaved may be comforted and that our beloved dead may rest in peace We pray: (R.)
(Other prayers may be added.)
THE LORD’S PRAYER
help us to be like Christ your Son,
who loved the world and died for our salvation.
Inspire us by his love,
and guide us by his example,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.
FINAL SONG: A Lenten song, a Eucharistic hymn or any appropriate song may be sung.
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Prepared by Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang PDDM
PIAE DISCIPULAE DIVINI MAGISTRI
SISTER DISCIPLES OF THE DIVINE MASTER
60 Sunset Ave., Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. (718) 494-8597 // (718) 761-2323