March 18, 2018 – Fifth Sunday of Lent

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“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

That’s it, times up. It seems hard to believe the Lenten journey has almost concluded. In this week’s Gospel, we catch a glimpse of Jesus’ inner turmoil and the Passion to come as he describes being troubled by the coming struggle.

“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
‘Father, save me from this hour’?
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name.”

Being prepared. It probably goes without saying that most of us like to feel prepared, especially for something big or important. For things that we look forward to or even things that we’re dreading.

January through March are typically our busiest months of ministry and travel and with the timing of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, it also becomes a very busy time with our responsibilities at our parish. Finishing our last traveling event for a while, we’ve spent the last week or so counting down the days until our college friends and their kiddos arrive from Ohio to spend their spring break with us during our spring break. We were grateful for the time we would have to unpack a few suitcases for starters and hit the long and demanding list of household chores that needed to be done to prepare for our friends’ arrival. All was well until we checked in with them to discuss plans and came to the horrifying realization that we all got our dates mixed up and they would be arriving in TWO DAYS! We thought we had a week and a half to get ready and suddenly we only have two days! (talk about panic)

Does your Lent feel this way? Are you realizing that Holy Week is a little over a week away and your Lenten journey has been less fruitful than you hoped? Do you feel spiritually and emotionally unready for the magnitude of the Passion? Do you feel like the “hour has come” and you’ve run out of time?

Jesus prepared for his final hour and approached the Father in one of his most human and vulnerable moments, perhaps himself not feeling ready for the enormous gravity of what he was undertaking. Even still, with a firm resolution he declares his purpose, and the voice of God again speaks from the clouds and affirms his resolve to stay the course. Use this time that you have left to persevere, to dig into prayer and Lenten devotion. Stay the course. Be ready to receive Christ’s Passion, death, and resurrection!

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