The following is a reflection I did for this weekend on our Diocesan website: www.dioceseofgreensburg.org Enjoy.
Makeovers are a big thing these days. Whatever it is that we try to recreate - body, home, garden and so forth, and for whatever reasons - health, needs, wants, beauty, it takes an understanding of where I have come from, of who I am, and of what I need, it requires a commitment. It also demands an investment of time and energy and a dying to self to allow this "new creation" to burst forth.
I am using the regular readings from the Scriptures for this Fifth Sunday of Lent, rather than those from Year A of the lectionary set aside for parishes involved in welcoming new members into the Church through the RCIA. In these readings we have the promise made by the Lord of an "extreme makeover" being offered to us.
For years I loved watching Ty and his crew on Sunday evenings contemplate the heartfelt needs of a family that had been brought to their attention and then agree to do all within their power to meet those needs and transform the lives of that family. They would arrive at the front door, call out their name, and explain that their lives would never be the same. They would find out what most made this family who they are, as well as what the challenge was that faced them. Then began the next hour of "re-creation".
In Jeremiah the prophet the Lord stands before the entrance of the House of Israel and the House of Judah. He announces that they have been selected, because of their need and of their worthiness, to be recipients of a new covenant, a new heart, a new life. It will be better than anything that they could imagine. Everything of importance of the past, that which makes then uniquely the children of God would be found there. But this would be something new. Their Lord had heard their cry "Create a clean heart in me, O God."
In the gospel of John today we are reminded of that opportunity for an "extreme home makeover" again. We are reminded that unless the old be cast off, unless the hardness of the outer shell be destroyed and replaced, unless there is the transplanting of a heart of flesh in place of the heart of stone, nothing will change. Our "extreme home makeover" is happening, and we are given glimpses of the progress in our lives as we await the full revelation of the finish. We are reminded by Jesus that "the Father will honor whoever serves me" ... the only condition placed upon accepting the makeover.
As we enter into this new relationship, where the law of love is placed within us and written on our hearts, may tears of joy and gladness fill our eyes and may gratitude permeate our being. May the coming Paschal Feast affirm within us the promise of God come to fulfillment in our lives.