Fifth Sunday of Lent
March 21, 2021 — Year B
Readings: Jer 31:31-34 / Ps 51 / Heb 5:7-9 / Jn 12:20-33
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
All of us who have attended funerals in the past where there is a eulogy know that the friends and members of the bereaved family will always say all of the good things that the deceased has done. If ever the person being eulogized has done something wrong, all those things are forgiven and forgotten. But of course it is unfortunate that most people only do this to the dead and very seldom to the living. The great news for all of us is that we have a God who forgives and forgets.
In today’s first reading, which is taken from the book of the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord God said, “I will forgive the evildoings of my people and remember their sins no more.” These same words are repeated in other parts of the scriptures, telling us that when God forgives, He chooses not to remember the sins that He has forgiven. These are the verses of the sacred scriptures that Pope Francis repeats quite often in his homilies and messages. The Lord God, when it comes to the sins that He has already forgiven, seems to have a divine amnesia.
But human as we are, we sometimes keep a record of wrongs of others and of ourselves. We might even be bothered by our past sins that we already confessed. If this happens, we have to remind ourselves that it is pointless to remember the sins which God has already forgotten. We can move on. God is not a God of the past. He is a God of the present and the future.
In the book of the prophet Isaiah, the Lord God said, “Behold! I am doing something new.” He always gives us a fresh start. We should be glad and rejoice, because our God chooses not to remember our sins He has forgiven. Let us ask the Lord that we may also do the same to others and to ourselves, so that we may always have in mind that every single minute, every single hour of each day, every single day of each year is God’s gift for each and every one of us to have a new beginning.