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Sunday, March 28, 2004

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Fifth Sunday of Lent

Isaiah 43:16-21
Philippians 3:8-14
Psalm 126
John 8:1-11

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zoning changes?

"I wish to know Christ and the power flowing from His resurrection; likewise to know how to share in His sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death. Thus do I hope that I may arrive at resurrection from the dead." —Philippians 3:10-11

In two weeks, we will celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead. To share in His resurrection, we must "share in His sufferings by being formed into the pattern of His death" (Phil 3:10). "You can depend on this: If we have died with Him we shall also live with Him" (2 Tm 2:11). The cross is the only way to resurrection from the dead.

On Palm (Passion) Sunday and Good Friday, we will read the Passion of Christ. On Good Friday, we will venerate the cross and the wounds of Christ. Many of us will pray the Stations of the Cross in these last days of Lent. The Lord works through these "Passion-prayers" to communicate His crucified love for us. Then, impelled by this love (2 Cor 5:14), we take up our daily crosses (Lk 9:23), redemptively suffer with Jesus, and are crucified with Him (Gal 2:19). Dying to ourselves (see Jn 12:24), we will rise to live in the Lord's love forever.

We naturally want a life of maximum pleasure and minimum pain. We want to stay in our comfort zones. As we enter more deeply into Jesus' Passion and death, the Lord is calling us to a life of maximum holiness and minimum selfishness. The Lord is calling us out of our comfort zones of sin and into the "love zone" at the foot of the cross. By God's grace, let us make the way of the cross our way of life.

Prayer:  Father, I choose the cross. May I be crucified to the world (Gal 6:14).

Promise:  "See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" —Is 43:19

Praise:  "We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world" (St. Francis of Assisi).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 18, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 24, 2003