Fifth Sunday in Lent in Year C (Saler13)

Celebrating Care for Its Own Sake  Robert Saler reflects on caring for the dying creation as an act of hope in resurrection.

Care for Creation Commentary on the Revised Common Lectionary

Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year C (2013, 2016, 2019, 2022, 2025)
Isaiah 43:16-21
Psalm 126
Philippians 3:4b-14
John 12:1-8

This week’s readings present a series of evocative images that reside at the intersection between death (anointing spices) and the hint of new life—thus bringing to a new level of intensity and interplay between the reality of death and Christian hope in resurrection that characterizes Lent as a whole.

As it happens, I recently had occasion to meditate on the intersection of mortality and hope when it comes to how we engage in acts of care for creation. In this article, published in The Cresset, I try and make the case that every act of care—in all aspects of life—is, in fact, care for the dying.

Recognition of this fact, far from causing despair, should invite us into a deeper understanding of how radical the call to fidelity in God’s promises is, and how it is in the very acts of giving up the future into God’s hands that we find ourselves empowered to work for God’s future now.

Such is the blessed paradox of Christian action: the more we hold to promises that are beyond our capacity to bring about through our own works, the more we are invited by God’s Spirit into the gift of engaging in the very works that are foretastes of creation’s redemption.

I invite you to reflect on the article (courtesy of The Cresset) as my commentary on this week’s texts:

Originally written by Robert Saler in 2013.