Homily Fifth Sunday of Lent. Year A. - Sunday, April 2, 2017
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD
First Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14
Psalm: Ps 129. “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”
Second Reading: Romans 8:8-11
Gospel: John 11:1-45
Please listen to my audio “blog” of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Year A. - Sunday, April 2, 2017 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-lent-week-5-a
How inspiring the Gospel is of the Raising of Lazarus. It speaks of the fact that Jesus is the Lord of the Resurrection. He not only rose from the dead but he put an end to death forever and promised us that all who trust in him will be called forth from the tomb like Lazarus, on the Last Day, the day of the Resurrection. Meanwhile, we believe that those who have died are enjoying the rewards of eternal life in heaven until they are united body and soul at the great Resurrection on the last day.
But, the gospel means even more than this. Jesus shows us that God is at work bringing new life and resurrection to us who are still alive and on this earth. Jesus (in so many ways) wants to raise us up, here and now, to a new and fulsome way of living and loving. God is constantly at work to resurrect us and bring new life (and changed life) to those who have suffered the many and varied ‘little deaths’ that comes along life’s path.
Jesus is also the Lord of New Beginnings, New ways of looking at things and New starts. May God raise us up in many different ways in our present life!
“Lazarus, come forth!!.....Unbind him, set him free !”
These words called lazarus out of the tomb. They are beautiful words……. Words have power. Words can create new realities…….
When Jesus called out … “Lazarus, come forth!!!” people objected… “but.. it will be foul!!” - But their fears were unfounded.
In our lives.. we may be trapped in many metaphorical tombs…… and when Jesus calls us forward to new ways, we might be tempted to say.. but lord… what you will find …stinks…. It is past fixing.. it is too awful to bring to light… we must trust that the Lord knows what he is doing…. We ought NEVER be afraid that any situation in our lives, any sin, any mistake is beyond fixing… it is not… it might, in our eyes, stink… but God knows what he is doing.. we can trust in him and come forth into the light.. and to a newness of life…..
This gospel reminds us that words are indeed filled with power…… and of course, I truly believe there is one single WORD who gives power to all other words and phrases.. and it is the person and message of Jesus, who is THE WORD of God…… the word made flesh….. Jesus is a DOING word, so the word of God, is a verb…….
SO, Jesus said a lot of words to people in his ministry… sometimes the things he said really challenged the faith of those who were with him…… In the gospel today, jesus talks to them about God having the final say on suffering and death…… / Jesus is powerfully SHOWING that HE DOES CARE…. HE DOES LOVE US….. HE DOES truly CARE WHEN PEOPLE SUFFER, GRIEVE, DIE… …. OR FEEL TRAPPED BY THEIR PAST SINS or MISTAKES….. HE CRIES WITH US….. HE SIGHS FROM THE HEART FOR US…….. AND HE SPEAKS WORDS OF CHANGE…..
I GIVE YOU ETERNAL LIFE….
Some other very special words have a powerful effect because they are so intimately connected with Jesus’ values// his message and qualities about himself that they convey the qualities they describe….
these words are powerful, as though the Spirit hovering over them fills them with resonance….. words such as
“Your sins are forgiven”
“Your debt is cancelled”
“Be Freed” / “Be released”
“BE upLIFTED FROM YOUR BURDENS”
“lazarus – COME-forth …… // now unbind him…. set him free!”
“This is my body broken for you….. This is my blood poured out for you as a new covenant”
I love these words…. I know you do too…… they fill us with hope… but more than that… they immediately begin achieving what they say…….
Fr Paul W. Kelly
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Fifth Sunday of Lent. Year A.
The Lord be with you.
When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
Sunday Lent V
Eucharistic Prayer III p.58
Go in peace.