5th Sunday of Lent(Cycle A, Year I)
The glory of God shines to those who truly believe.
The glory of God shines through us when we remain steadfast in our faith.
“I will put my spirit in you that you may live.” (Ez 37:14a)
Resurrection is the highest point and goal of our earthly life. It is the meaning and purpose of our earthly journey. Resurrection is the reason we make sacrificesand endeavor to live a good and just life. It is the reason why we follow Jesus and fulfill His commandments. Resurrection is our hope of glory, and the promised fulfillment of eternal life with God.
The theme for the 5th Sunday of Lent is:The glory of God shines through us when we remain steadfast in our faith.Our faith in God can help us triumph over the passion we share with Jesus – all the problems, struggles and difficulties we face in life – just as it can overcome our fear of death – and death itself.
Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead through faith, the kind of faith that is deeper than mere knowledge. It is full confidence that the goodness and power of God can overcome any known obstacle, even the natural law involving the loss of life. With faith as small as a mustard seed, the Lord tells us that we can do marvelous things, things that may seem humanly impossible. How much less demanding it would be for us to let go of our old ways, abandon bad habits, get rid of our old self-centered ways, and make ourselves available for the cross.
Jesus shows us that faith is the equivalent of life. We have to understand that God is far more concerned with growing our faith than with making us comfortable. When we believe in God, we are fully alive with a life that far surpasses our natural, physical life. When we live in and through the power of God all things become possible. Thus, for the person with faith, death is to fall asleep for a moment and then to wake up in the embrace of a loving Father, who welcomes us home to live with Him forever. When Jesus is in our life, death is not the end, because Jesus is Lord of Life, and he triumphs even over death. This means that we should not fear death. It is an experience each of us must go through as we pass from this life to the next.
It is possible that, with no meaningful relationship with God, our life may have lost purpose and direction. We may be slaves to sin, shackled to addiction, obsessions and fatal attractions. We may be among the living dead who live in tombs, not tombs of stone, but tombs of the spirit, mind and heart, and from these Jesus calls us to come forth. When Jesus says that He is the resurrection and the Life, He is teaching us that the critical moment in every human life is not the moment of a job promotion, or marriage, or of giving birth. Not even the moment of death, but the moment when we turn from unbelief to authentic belief in Jesus. The moment is decisive because it connects us to Jesus in a very personal way.
One of the keys to our spiritual growth as Christians is believing in God’s love – even when we cannot see it. Jesus then becomes not a distant figure but someone close to us and involved in our life. From Him, we receive a new kind of life that is stronger than death because it is Jesus’ own life that we call “grace.”
The miracle of Lazarus coming to life is the promise of new spiritual life that Jesus can give to us here and now. Jesus gives us this new life that conquers any kind of death. The point of this Lazarus gospel is that Jesus is indeed the Resurrection and the Life, as embodied in our promise this 5th Sunday of Lent -“I will put my spirit in you that you may live,” (Ez 37:14a).
Our great God, we remember the times when we were not unlike Lazarus in the tomb – seemingly lifeless and without hope, overwhelmed by guilt that we wanted to hide ourselves away from this world. Thank you for the reassurance of the community word for this month – The glory of God shines to those who truly believe. Continue to strengthen us with your love that we may hear you call us out of the tomb to set us free and be resurrected to a new life.
1. What are the things / ways / habits that I have to die to in order to be resurrected in Christ in this earthly life?
2. What are the works of God which I have to do and be prepared to meet and face Jesus whenever my time comes?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
April 2, 2017 (Sun) – Ez 37:12-14/Ps 130:1-8/Rom 8:8-11/Jn 11:1-45
April 3, 2017(Mon) – Dn 13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62/Ps23:1-6/Jn 8:1-11
April 4, 2017(Tues) – Nm 21:4-9/Ps 102:2,3,16-21/Jn 8:21-30,
April 5, 2017(Wed) -Dn 3:14-20,91-92,95/Dn 3:52-56/Jn 8:31-42
April 6, 2017 (Thur)- Gn 17:3-9/Ps 105:4-9/Jn 8:51-59
April 7, 2017 (Fri) – Jer 20:L10-13/Ps18:2-7/Jn10:31-42
April 8, 2017 (Sat) – Ez 37:21-28/Jer31:10-13/Jn 11:45-56
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”