Fifth Sunday of Lent

March 17, 2024

March 17, 2024


March 17, 2024

Fifth Sunday of Lent



Nchubiri, MM

Nchubiri, MM

It has been an ancient practice to inscribe someone’s name on a stone. Nowadays, we see donors' names inscribed on walls of buildings or bricks on donor/benefactor paths.  If you visit any war memorial, you will see the names of those whose lives were lost at war. On a more personal level, we see people tattooing the names of their loved ones on their bodies.  

But in contrast to all these, God wants to inscribe or tattoo his law on human hearts. It is a law of love, a law of forgiveness and a law of compassion. Through love and care, God wants to make a new covenant with the people of Israel.  

However, there is a twist in why God writes this new covenant because these same people had broken previous covenants with God. Through the prophet Jeremiah, God says, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” God will not abandon us even when we turn away from God. Instead, God offers us a new beginning, a fresh start.  

Based on this, how often do we count others’ mistakes? How many people have we avoided because they hurt us?  Who among us can readily say to someone who is constantly hurting us, “It is okay; let us have a fresh start”?

Love and care bring forth forgiveness. God calls us to forgive and forget. Forgiveness is easy for us, but forgetting is another story. But God demands that we do both. In God, there is no compromise. God is fully open to new beginnings. God cleans everything and rewrites. God leaves no residual when He erases.  Many of us use computers. We save documents and files in hard drives or flash drives. When we don’t need that file anymore, we hit delete. In some ways, our hearts are like computers and at times, we store good and bad memories. Why are we so afraid to hit the delete button of hurt and guilt from our hearts and minds? Are we afraid of a new start or a new beginning?  

The new covenant that has been written in our hearts is a law of love and care, not hate and punishment. Looking at the world today, we see immense suffering, death and destruction through war and violence, great polarizations, nationalism, genocide and xenophobia, to name but a few. How can we who know God continue to allow dehumanization, dispossession, oppression and exploitation of sections of populations such as the Palestinians, indigenous peoples, refugees and migrants? How can we, in the 21st century, still embrace the politics of racism and discrimination, imperialism, war and militarism?

Do we love and care enough to speak up against the injustices we see in our society?

Do we use the power Jesus bestows on us as his servants? For “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.” When we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, we are challenged to lead lives full of love, compassion, mercy and forgiveness because God’s covenant is written in our hearts. May Jesus give us the strength for a Fresh Start.

First Reading

Jer 31:31-34


Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15

Second Reading

Heb 5:7-9


Jn 12:20-33
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Susan Nchubiri, MM

Susan Nchubiri, MM

Susan Nchubiri MM is a member of the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic. She was born and raised in Kenya. Susan holds a Master’s degree in Global Affairs with a specialization in International Peace Studies from the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame - Indiana. She also holds a Master’s degree in Rural Sociology and Community Development from the University of Nairobi -Kenya.  

She has been missioned to Hong Kong, Haiti, and the US. In addition, she has been an ecumenical accompanier in Palestine and Israel with the World Council of Churches. Susan has previously worked as program director at various centers for women and youth in Kenya and Haiti, providing support and empowerment through skills training, micro-credit, self-help corps, and creating awareness on human rights, gender equality and rights of the child.  She also provided pastoral care to youth, prisoners and migrant workers in Hong Kong. Susan’s work focuses on community organizing, youth and women accompaniment, human rights and integral human development.  Currently, she is working at the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns in Washington DC, and her main areas of concern are Palestine–Israel, Haiti and migration.

Susan loves traveling and meeting new friends, keeping contact with old friends, watching movies and listening to music. She finds troubleshooting Information Technology issues most relaxing.



The second of three volumes from the Catholic Women Preach project of FutureChurch offers homilies for each Sunday and holy days of the liturgical year by Catholic women from around the world.  The first volume for Cycle A received awards for best book on Liturgy from both the Association of Catholic Publishers and the Catholic Media Association.

“Catholic Women Preach is one of the more inspiring collection of homilies available today. Based on the deep spirituality and insights of the various women authors, the homilies are solidly based on the scriptures and offer refreshing and engaging insights for homilists and listeners. The feminine perspective has long been absent in the preached word, and its inclusion in this work offers a long overdue and pastorally necessary resource for the liturgical life of the Church.” - Catholic Media Association

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