Categories: Pastor's Desk

This week, the Church enters into what is known as Passiontide. In these last two weeks of the Lenten Season, we focus more intently on the events of the Passion of our Lord. At Mass, we will notice that the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer shifts from focusing on the Lenten themes of penance, fasting, and almsgiving to focusing on the passion. Our readings will start to move closer to the events that took place in Jerusalem surrounding our Lord’s death and resurrection.

Our readings this weekend remind us that this is the course that we are on. In our Gospel, we hear Jesus speaking in Jerusalem just before the Passover. He knows that it is time for him to be glorified, and he is very clear about what that process will entail. He reminds us that “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.”

Jesus knows that his path to glory will lead him to Calvary and the cross. He says these things to remind us that we are called to follow him through his death to newness of life. Our death may not be a physical death, but it is a death to self: to our own wants, desires, and pleasures. We die to these things so that God can be present in us, and we can focus on the things of Heaven.

Often, this “death to self” is not easy. It can be hard to let go of the things that we think give us comfort and security. If we are honest with ourselves, however, we will recognize that the comfort and security these things give us is only temporary. As St. Augustine said, our hearts are restless until they rest in God. When we allow this death to take place, and we separate ourselves from the things that keep us from God, we find incredible

When we allow God to be at work in our lives, amazing things can happen. As we hear in our First Reading, God desires to write his law on our hearts, so that we will know that He is our God, and we are his people. Our challenge is to allow God to create a clean heart in us, so that we may do his will. We seek always to cooperate with God’s grace, so that we may know the fullness of life to which he has called us.

May these final weeks of the Lenten season be a fruitful time for all of us. May they lead us to the coming Easter celebrations with renewed faith and trust in God’s promises.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Steven Huber, CSB