Fifth Sunday of Lent
Reflection for April 6, 2014
Text (Gospel Story) John 11:1-45
So Jesus came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he has said this, he cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.
(Together) O God, you are the healer of souls and so we pray:
(Together) When we are lonely, may we feel your presence.
(Together) When we are burdened by worries, may we be at peace in your love.
(Together) When we have sinned, may we know your forgiveness.
How has God answered your conference’s prayers?
Look beyond the immediate to truly see the signs of grace.
Sharing the Mission
Jesus promises Martha (and us) that whoever “lives and believes in me will never die.”
The amazing fact of our living the dying and rising of the paschal mystery is that we already share in this eternal life. We readily see the dying in our everyday lives - the pain, suffering, death, sinfulness, self-emptying, discipline, giving up our wills. This gospel challenges us to see and believe equally signs of the grace of new life - glory, joy, peace, forgiveness, mercy, trust, kindness.