V SUNDAY OF LENT
jeremiah 31:31-34; hebrews 5:7-9; john 12:20-33
a little boy asked: «why is it that when i open a marigold it dies, but if GOD does it, it’s so beautiful?» before anyone could answer him, he said: «i know! it’s because GOD always works from the inside.»
the little boy was wise to GOD’s way of working! whether it’s with nature or with people, GOD works from the inside… as today’s readings indicate.
in the first reading, GOD announces the new covenant he intends making with his people. the earlier covenants had external elements: the sign of the covenant with noah was a rainbow; the covenant of sinai was inscribed on tablets. in this new covenant, GOD will put his «law within them and write it upon their hearts». further, it would be not an external keeping of laws but a relationship with GOD.
in the gospel, JESUS takes this covenant relationship further. he uses the analogy of a grain of wheat falling into the ground and dying in order to produce much fruit to emphasize that the covenant now involves a dying to oneself and a rising to eternal life. GOD always works from the inside!
the writer of the letter to the hebrews is clear that JESUS «learned obedience from what he suffered.»
will i allow GOD to write his law upon my heart? will i—like JESUS—fall into the ground and die to myself so that i can produce fruits of the kingdom?
today, let me allow GOD to work from the inside.