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Fifth Sunday in Lent

21 March, 2021

Remember                                           John 12:20-30.

Jesus replied
I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies,
it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest.

Reflect     Approaches to suffering

I knew a man who fought cancer to the end.
And he took to every type of possible medicine
and underwent many procedures and cures.
We all had been told they wouldn’t work.

I know another person who just opened himself to it all.
She wouldn’t even take chemo.
These are different approaches to suffering.
One fought it and the other accepted.
I admired both of them.

Many people go into hospital with cancer
wondering about their illness,
and that death might be close by.
It’s just part of life they say.

As for Jesus, it’s a fearful time, confusing and sometimes draws us into more faith.
We can transform our pain into suffering, and find some great graces in it.
There is the challenge to find new life in it.  Pain becomes suffering.

Jesus doesn’t want the chalice of the garden,
but he allows it become fully part of him
so that his inner strength is big!
It doesn’t mean a simplistic approach.
But it means an acceptance of darkness in life.

Jesus found in his passion that God the Father is near.
This can be our way, and we can find that through helping each other.
We can help people at times of suffering – listening, being present.
We find this in our hearts, not in books – that we can grow through suffering
and we realise on a bad day that peace invades the soul,
or that there is a bright light in the darkness.

In any suffering in our lives, when
we think of God,
or say his name,
or question him,
maybe we can just imagine a light around us,
like sunshine in the Autumn forest.
Saying nothing, just remaining open to God’s light.


Lord, by your cross and resurrection,
you have set us free,

you are the Saviour of the world.


You shall cross the barren desert
but you shall not die of thirst
you shall wander far in safety
though you do not know the way
You shall speak your words in foreign lands
and all will understand
You shall see the face of God and live

If you pass through raging waters
in the sea you shall not drown
If you walk amid the burning flames
you shall not be harmed
If you stand before the power of hell
and death is at your side
know that I am with you through it all

Blessed are your poor
for the kingdom shall be theirs
Blest are you that weep and mourn
for one day you shall laugh
And if wicked men insult and hate you
all because of me
blessed, blessed are you!

 Author: Robert Dufford