“LAZARUS, COME OUT!”

Apr 1, 2017

The most difficult puzzle in life involves the mystery of dying. Who among us here want to die soon? Those who do not wish to die, though, die early. Those who wish to die, make it to old age. Death is a deep mystery we fear. Death rivets our attention to God. In moments of death, even the non-religious turn and are reflective. The dying learn to pray and the ones left behind answers by returning to their religious roots.

Death also makes us question God. Why did God allow this to happen? Why to a young man full of potential? Why now, when we need our Dad so much? Why in this way involving much pain and suffering? The Gospel echoes this sentiment: “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?”

Today, as we reflect on God’s response to death, we must also recall that all of us die each day, not physically, but in many other paralyzing ways. Some experience the collapse of their hopes. Some see their relationships going towards irreparable destruction. Some feel that they are dying deep inside, overcome by a sadness or resentment that would not go away. Some are simply dead within their hearts, living aimlessly.

How does God, in his Son, deal with death? The Gospel this Sunday, shows us some illustrations. Jesus weeps at the tomb of his friend Lazarus. He did nothing to prevent his death, but He showed something even more convincing and touching; Jesus wept. In desolation, remember how much God grieves with us. We often think the God does not share our feelings. But He does. When we experience death, physical or spiritual or emotional, God is with us in a real and mysterious way. We need only to be sensitive. No experience is alien to God; even our tears become his. Then Jesus raised up his friend Lazarus. With a shout, Jesus says:

“LAZARUS, COME OUT!”

Jesus explains why he did not prevent the death of his friend: “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” He means that even in the face of death, something beautiful will still emerge. The power of God will shine through and break through. The dead will rise again to a new life! Just believe in the power of Jesus to bring life from the ashes of despair.

This Lent, not only the dead enter new life in heaven. We who are dying daily will also see the glory of God. But do you believe this? Dare to believe... and live! The Call to Stewardship: Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ leads naturally to the practice of stewardship. These linked realities, discipleship and stewardship, then make up the fabric of a Christian life in which each day is lived in an intrinsic and personal relationship with God.

This 5th Sunday of Lent is the third scrutiny of the Elect. It is also the first week of April. Then we have our First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There are three optional memorials of saints namely; St. Isidore on the 4th, St. Vincent Ferrer on the 5th, and St. John Baptist de la Salle on the 7th. Continue your Lenten sacrifices of abstinence on Fridays and Stations of the Cross devotion. Patronize our Fish Fry always. This is all for now, watch for the nextbulletin. God bless...

Your Priest – Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie