Scripture Reflections

April 3: Fifth Sunday in Lent

Posted by Campus Ministry on Sunday, April 3, 2022 at 9:04 AM PDT

Congregation at the Chapel wearing masks

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Today we’re invited to look in a new way. Paul professes that he is willing to relinquish all of what he valued, seeing everything that he previously took pride in as worthless now that he understands the call of faith in Christ. Jesus, in our complex Gospel story, offers a new approach to dealing with questions of morality and punishment in the public square: by displacing himself, defusing tension, inviting the crowd to reflection on their own need for mercy and reconciliation, and connecting personally and compassionately with one whom the community condemns, Jesus’ way leads to personal and communal transformation. “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” God appeals to us through the prophet Isaiah.

This Sunday the scriptures are calling us to look at our lives, our world, with eyes that see God’s presence breaking in, transforming us. Right now. In ways beyond our imagination. In ways that might challenge us to leave behind the familiar and comfortable, to go beyond ourselves, to listen well to unexpected people, to truly encounter the Spirit at work in our world. Paying attention to the Spirit now means not clinging to the ways of old, but drawing on the past, interpreting the present signs of the times, and acting for a hope-filled future, all with faith and hope in God’s abiding presence working in and among us.

This attentiveness to the Spirit is the call of the 2023 Synod. In an unprecedented process, all the baptized around the world are being invited to come together to reflect on how we journey together as Church, to share our experiences, and to pray and ponder where the Holy Spirit might be calling the Church. We’re being invited to be the Body of Christ in a new way. “The purpose […is…] “to plant dreams, draw forth prophecies and visions, allow hope to be nourished, inspire trust, bind up wounds, weave together relationships, awaken a dawn of hope, learn from one another, and create a bright resourcefulness that will enlighten minds, warm hearts, give strength to our hands.” ~ Synod Preparatory Document

When I think of the Synod, I hear God crying out: “See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” Friends, come be a part of this unfolding work of the Spirit in our Church. Join us this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. or 6 p.m., or on April 20 at 6p.m., for synodal listening sessions. Let us pray to be able to listen to and partner with the Spirit’s work in our world today.

  • JoAnn Melina Lopez, Campus Minister for Liturgy