thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent
The readings may be found here
The Prophet Ezekiel offered a vision of hope to a people suffering and broken hearted in exile. The promise here of renewal and restoration resonates beyond that original moment of crisis and fear. His words became a prophecy of what God would accomplish in the gift of His Son and the new and everlasting covenant brought about by the Self offering of Jesus Christ. And that prophecy now speaks to us in our exile, our fear, our mourning.
In the passage from the Gospel of John, we move ever closer to the events of the Passion. The opposition to Jesus is intensifying. It is ironic that the High Priest who opposes Jesus speaks the ironic truth that the Lord will give His life to save the people. The mention of the approach of Passover emphasizes that this is a moment fraught with the danger of death and the promise of deliverance. As we hear or read this passage we recall other words from this same gospel: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (10:11). The Lord Jesus is indeed the “shepherd who guards his flock.” He will die “for the nation” and for the “dispersed children of God.” And He will fulfill the vision of Ezekiel of a people delivered and renewed.