Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 39
Saturday in Fifth Week of Lent
“Repent and re-believe.”
One week from now, we will celebrate one of the most glorious services at Incarnation—the Easter Vigil. One of the most profound moments at Easter Vigils is the baptisms. The symbolism is moving—as we move from Christ’s death to his resurrection, these new believers move from sin and death, to new life in Christ. In many ways, today’s Ezekiel reading is a prophetic foreshadowing of baptism. We’re cleansed from all that defiles us and God covenants himself to us as we covenant ourselves to him (Ez 37:23). We become his flock; he becomes our King and Shepherd, through Jesus (Ez 37:24). He even sets his sanctuary in our presence by giving us his Holy Spirit (Ez 37:26-27, c.f.: Rom 5:5). But like any baptism service, not only do the new believers repent and believe, but rather all of us are called to repent and re-believe the Gospel. But do we fear re-believing the Gospel? Do we fear the cost to keep following Jesus? In today’s John reading the chief priests and Pharisees fear that cost. And they decided it was better to betray Jesus and keep their present lives, than to believe in Jesus and incur the wrath of Rome (Jn 11:49-50). No doubt, the cost to following Jesus to the Cross is great. But the benefit to rising with Jesus to eternal life is greater!
O Lord, who in thy goodness dost bestow abundant graces on thine elect: Look with favor, we entreat thee, upon those who in these Lenten days are being prepared for Holy Baptism, and grant them the help of thy protection; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.