Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

April 8, 2017 / By: Marta Pereira

I will make with them a Covenant of peace

Ez 37:21-28/Jn 11:45-56 


In today’s Gospel, Caiaphas, who was the high priest, said to the Sanedrin,“it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish."  The Gospel then adds, “he did not say this on his own… he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.”  These words of Caiaphas prophesied the fulfilment of the Covenant of which the prophet Ezekiel talks about today.

I will make with them a covenant of peace;
it shall be an everlasting covenant with them…
My dwelling shall be with them;
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

God from the beginning related to his people with Covenants through which he made his people a holy nation and his property. The Covenant with Abraham was unconditional, based on the gratuity and faithfulness of God’s love. The Covenant with Moses had conditions and asked for people’s fidelity.  Despite the unfaithfulness of the people through time, God continued to embrace them and Ezekiel reaffirms his promise to be their God and make them holy. Jesus will fulfill this promise with the New Covenant, sealed with his own blood, by giving his own life for us and offering his peace after his resurrection.

As we prepare to celebrate this Holy Week, we are invited to rediscover the profound meaning of God’s Covenant, the gratuitous love of God for us and his promise of everlasting peace. In a world that still has not accepted that peace and communion that Ezekiel talks about, we are called to embrace God’s gift in Christ, and stand with those who suffer in their own flesh the consequences of division, hatred, and war.  This week that we are finishing has reminded us once more how tragic and cruel war can be. Let us pray for this everlasting covenant of peace within and among the nations, trusting that God’s dwelling is among us.

Marta Pereira
Office for Spirituality