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Sunday Soundbites
Sunday Soundbites is a weekly, 90-second radio homily based on the Sunday readings, written and read by Fr. Greg Friedman, O.F.M. Sunday Soundbites is also heard on Catholic radio stations around the country.

Program for Sunday, March 25, 2012
(Fifth Sunday in Lent)





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Archaeologists have unearthed thousands of stone tablets—surviving evidence of the life in the ancient Near East. This stone record gives us a glimpse of the cultures that are the background of the Bible. Hello, I’m Father Greg Friedman, with the Sunday Soundbite for the Fifth Sunday of Lent.

Especially helpful to Biblical studies has been the record of covenants—agreements made between merchants, traders or rulers in biblical times. By studying these business or legal relationships, we can understand the religious concept of covenant—our Scriptural theme all through this Lent.

In today’s first reading, however, the prophet Jeremiah wants us to move from covenants recorded on stone to another kind of covenant. Jeremiah is thinking of the Ten Commandments, written on stone by God and given to Moses. Now God tells the prophet that henceforth the covenant will be written in the hearts of the people. They will know their God with the intimacy of a lover. They will respond from the heart.

Lent is about renewing our Baptism. In Baptism God has “written on our hearts” a personal, covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. In today’s Gospel Jesus refers to his own act of self-giving, in the beautiful image of the grain of wheat, which dies in order to allow new life to grow. In the same passage he invites his followers to imitate him in that selfless act of love.

In these final weeks of Lent, let us seek to respond to that covenant invitation. I’m Father Greg Friedman with the Sunday Soundbite for St. Anthony Messenger Press, on the web at FranciscanRadio.org.

Meet Father Greg Friedman
Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M. Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M., is creative director with the Media Production Team at Franciscan Media. He also hosts American Catholic Radio each week, and produces videos for www.AmericanCatholic.org, including the "Two-Minute Take." Father Greg wrote and directed Assisi Pilgrimage: Walking in Faith with Francis and Clare, which appeared on ABC-TV stations nationwide. He also produced the popular faith-formation series Catholic Update Video, used in parishes around the U.S. He currently serves as pastor of St. Francis Seraph Parish, located in the inner-city neighborhood of "Over-the-Rhine" in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can contact him at letters@franciscanradio.org.
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