Revised Common Lectionary Commentary

Fifth Sunday in Lent - March 13, 2016

Introductions for Readers

Saint Dominic contemplating the Scriptures

Saint Dominic
contemplating the Scriptures

Isaiah 43:16-21

Writing towards the end of the Exile, the prophet speaks for God and foretells a new beginning. He reminds the Israelites of his mighty acts in turning back the Egyptian armies at the Reed (or Red) Sea. In a new way but with similar intent, he will act again. He is beginning to do so now.

Philippians 3:4b-14

Paul has warned the Christians at Philippi about people who try to convince them that being a true Christian requires acceptance of Jewish law, including circumcision; however he says that an internal circumcision of the heart – and not legally accepted external circumcision – is what is required of us. External observance cannot make up for a lack of internal conversion.

John 12:1-8

Jesus has almost completed his journey to Jerusalem. He has raised Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary, from the dead. Judas Iscariot does not understand the uniqueness of Jesus’ death. Helping the poor is important, but Jesus’ death and resurrection are even more so.

© 1996-2016 Chris Haslam

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