FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR B – 16th / 17th March, 2024

Jeremiah presents the God of Israel as One who forgives and who is even prepared to forget the sins of the past. The people will be God’s garden: the seed planted within them is God’s Law. They will be God’s own billboard: the law of forgiveness and mercy will be written in their hearts. John uses the ‘eternal life’ metaphor in much the same way as the other gospel writers use the ‘reign of God’ or ‘kin-dom’ image. To keep one’s life for ‘eternal life’ has to do with living God’s transformative vision for creation in the present so that it might one day be fully realised. In John’s gospel, Jesus’ death is also his being lifted up in glory. The moment of his death becomes the moment of drawing ‘all’ to himself. The ‘all’ includes all people, but is not restricted to the human community. It also allows for an ecological interpretation: in his death and exaltation, Jesus gathers the whole Earth community into the mystery of God’s redemptive and transforming love.