Sunday homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent Year B
Theme: “CHRIST OFFERED UP PRAYER AND ENTREATY”
By: Fr Cajetan Anyanwu
Homily for Sunday March 21 2021
This is the 5th Sunday of Lent. The major event concerning the passion of Jesus is underway. The time has come for us to intensify our efforts towards suffering with Christ in order to resurrect with him. What we need to do is to open our hearts because, “… the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks _ when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel…” (Jer. 31:31-34). Jesus is the New Covenant between God and humanity. With the coming of Jesus into our hearts, God has planted his law inside us, for he says: “Deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it in their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people.”
For this reason, “during his life on earth, Christ offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard”( Heb. 5:7-9). This prayer-life of Christ is a shining example for us to emulate. Prayer is the master key to open the treasures stored up for us by God. If we stop praying, our spiritual life in Christ begins to dwindle. When we stop praying, we fall into temptation. When prayer is no longer valued or prioritized in our daily lives, we miss the mark. Prayer of faith can move mountains and break barriers.
When we cease to pray, we find it difficult to approach Jesus. This was why some Greeks approached Philip requesting that they wished to see Jesus. They could not see Jesus because of their philosophical approach to all reality. Seeing Jesus requires no philosophical approach. Rather, it requires prayerful mood especially, through dying to sin and rising to virtuous life. Therefore, Jesus says: “If a man serves me, he must follow me, wherever I am, my servant will be there too”(Jn. 12:20-30).
This is the time to pray more and savoir the goodness of the Lord. It is time to forgive and to reconcile. It is time to draw closer to the source of life and have life in abundance. For Jesus says: “… unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.” With prayer, we draw closer to Jesus, and without prayer, we are far away from him. Let us learn to pray constantly. Happy Sunday and God bless you.
-Fr Cajetan Anyanwu