The feasts of St. Joseph and the Annunciation have certainly interrupted the mood of Lent; but with the Fifth Sunday of Lent, the change in tone is unavoidable. More and more the readings at Mass remind us of the Lord’s sufferings, his betrayal and especially his sacrifice. Sacrifice in every sense of the word: what he gave up for us, yes, but more fundamentally his free offering of himself, the holocaust of his mission as an act of communion with God. More over a sacrifice that is more than personal, but a communal offering, sweeping up those closest to him and generations yet to come.
The First Preface of the Passion, which we begin using this week at Mass, tells us: “…through the saving Passion of your Son the whole world has received a heart to confess the infinite power of your majesty…” The liturgy reminds us that what we celebrate, what we commit ourselves to, is not just for believers but for the whole world; not just the human family, but the transformation of all creation. We are part of the conciousness capable of reflecting on these invisible realities, invisible, but often manifest through and in the world about us. Might we not be capable of recognizing and confessing that infinite power in the mundane events about us?