March 21. Sunday Lent 5B.  Human Rights Week, South Africa.  Fr Brian was beginning to look forward to Holy Week and all the special ceremonies, but he reminded himself that he should “keep his eye on the ball”and that the central figure had to beJesus, his love and commitment in offering up the sacrifice of his life and his mission of building the Kingdom.  In his whats-app message to the congregation he shared the explanation from the Missal.  “The gospel today sees the death of Jesus as the manifestation of his love.  A human being fulfills his goal and grows to maturity only when he is capable of love and when he gives his life for others.  The world might see this gift of life as a defeat but we see it as a victory.”   He also quoted from the 1st reading, a favourite passage of his which could be put into the mouth of St Francis just as well as the prophet Jeremiah. 

Scripture. God says,The days are coming, says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with them. I will put my law within them and I will write it upon their hearts.   I will be their God and they shall be my people.” Jer 31:31-34

Pope Francis:  The spiritual stature of a person’s life is measured by love which remains the criterion about a human life’s worth.  Yet some believers think that it consists in the imposition of their own ideology or a violent defence of the truth.  All of us believers need to recognize that love takes first place and must never be put at risk. FT 92. 

In Laudato Si  Pope Francis, in the spirit of St Francis, focuses on all of creation in the sense of an eco-covenant and writes, The created things of this world are not free of ownership: “for they are yours, O Lord, who love the living.”   This is the basis of our conviction that as part of the universe called into being by one Father, all of us are linked by unseen bonds and together from a kind of universal family.  God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. LS89.  Each creature has its own purpose.  The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us.  Soil, water, mountains, everything is a caress of God. LS84 

Reflect, share, act, pray.  How aware are we of the extinction of many species around us happening constantly?