April 2, 2017

5th Sunday of Lent

April 2, 2017:  Fifth Sunday of Lent

  • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  Lazarus had been dead 4 days (gospel)
  • 'Stone' tie pin:  Jews tried to stone Jesus; "roll away the stone" (gospel)
  • 'Clocks' tie:  "Are there not 12 hours in a day?" (gospel); countdown to Holy Week
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus (gospel)
  • 'Dove' pin:  "If the Spirit dwells in you, God will give you life through that Spirit" (2nd reading)
  • Purple shirt:  Lenten season

For Psalm 130
For the gospel

For future celebrations
    • Don't look during Lent unless you're planning Easter Vigil:  Easter Vigil bundle:  my settings of all ten psalms and canticles
Pope Francis Carpi homily
God doesn't magically make bad things vanish but is close to those who suffer, and faith has the power to transform that suffering.  Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus, but within the mystery of suffering in which rationality is shattered and crushed, he doesn't let pessimism imprison him.  Before that tomb is sorrow, delusion, precariousness, but also hope that conquers death and evil.  Jesus didn't offer a remedy to lengthen life, but he proclaimed, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live."
Are we going to close ourselves in sadness or be open to hope?   Some remain buried in the rubble of life, but others with God's help rise from it and rebuild.  Don't be imprisoned in hopelessness and self-commiseration and yield to the useless logic of fear and resignation.  Jesus’ words to Lazarus are also for us:  leave sadness and hopelessness behind; with Jesus hope is reborn and pain is transformed into peace.  He's always there to help us rise.  Ask for the grace to be witnesses of life and hope in a world thirsting for it.
Wordle: Readings 4-6-14
  • Ez 37:12-14  I will put my spirit in you, have you rise from your graves, return, live, and know I am the Lord.
  • Ps 130:1-8  "With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption."  Out of the depths I cry to you; hear me!  I trust in you; you'll redeem us.
  • Rom 8:8-11  Those in the flesh can't please God, but you're in the spirit if the Spirit is in you.  If Christ is in you, the spirit is alive, and if the Spirit dwells in you, the one who raised Christ will give you life.
  • Jn 11:1-45  Lazarus was ill in his sisters Mary and Martha's village.  The sisters sent word to Jesus.  Jesus:  “It won't end in death; it's for God's glory.”  When he arrived, Lazarus had been dead over four days.  Martha / Jesus:  “If you'd been here, he wouldn't have died.” / “He'll rise.” / “Yes, in the resurrection.” / “I am the resurrection; whoever believes in me will live.” / “I believe you're the Christ.”  She called Mary who went to him:  “If you'd been here, he wouldn't have died.” / “Where have you laid him?” / “Come.”  Jesus wept. / “Take away the stone.” / “There will be a stench.” / “You'll see God's glory.”  They took it away.  Jesus:  “...Lazarus, come out!”  He came out, tied and wrapped.  “Untie him; let him go.”  Many believed.
    • Creighton:  The Lord tells Ezekiel to call dry bones back to sinews and flesh.  When the bones shake, rattle, and rise, he tells him the bones are Israel in the death of exile, and they'll take their place in their true land.  What seemed dead was really asleep, and God's breath awakened them.  In this day of the third Scrutiny, Jesus is presented as the Resurrection.  Starting next Sunday, we're all invited to follow Jesus through his death to his and our resurrection.  Jesus' followers are challenged on all sides, tempted to follow other forms of living, or freeze out the faith that's growing, or bypass the cross....  Jesus' friend Lazarus has been reported sick, and Jesus delays visiting him and his sisters.  Lazarus is dead and smelly, and Jesus brings him back to life.  As the man born blind symbolizes our blindness to God's presence in Christ, so Lazarus is a symbol of our call from death to a life of faith.  Jesus loved Lazarus, symbol of us all, and ordered that he (we) be untied and set free.  Many Jews who saw the event began to believe, also brought out of their tombs of unbelief.  As the Resurrection, Jesus doesn't take away all forms of death but keeps calling us to “Come out....”
      Raising of Lazarus/ Giotto di Bondone
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The ultimate resurrection":  Ezekiel prophesied God's people would have a spiritual resurrection:  repentance and conversion.  Jesus gave Lazarus a physical resurrection.  The Father and Spirit raised Jesus from the dead in both spirit and body; he was lifted up and glorified, enthroned at the Father's right hand.  We who live and die in Christ will rise in him.  Our resurrection will be like Jesus'.  "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus dwells in you, then he who raised Christ will bring your mortal bodies to life also."  Jesus will remake our lowly body according to the pattern of his glorified body, by his power....  If we let Jesus enter our lives, he'll "give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne," as he won the victory and took his seat beside his Father.  Soon we'll celebrate the glorious, amazing Resurrection of Jesus and those baptized into him and living their baptism....
    • Passionist:  “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste death but once.  It seems strange to me that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come (Julius Caesar II,2).”  Though the thought of impending death instills fear in the average person, Caesar professes courage in the face of signs pointing to his assassination.  In today’s gospel, Jesus heads towards Judea after being reminded that the Jews tried to stone him the last time.  In the unfolding of events around his raising of Lazarus, Jesus asserts his power over death.  Jesus elicits faith in his messianic identity when he asks Martha whether she believes he's the resurrection; she responds, “Yes, Lord, I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God....”  When Jesus asks to be taken to where Lazarus was laid, he prays, “Father, I thank you for hearing me....  I say this so [the crowd] may believe you sent me.”  Have we reinforced our profession of faith in Jesus as Savior, who conquers death for us, so we can celebrate his victory that's ours to share with one another?
      The Raising of Lazarus/ Duccio di Buoninsegna
    • DailyScripture.net:  "I am the resurrection and the life":  Jesus didn't go right away to Lazarus; he said Lazarus' sickness would glorify God.  Jesus saw the cross as his supreme glory and the way to glory in God's kingdom; for him there was no other path to glory.  Jesus knew it was dangerous for him to go near Jerusalem, since the religious authorities there plotted his destruction, but he had the courage to go there to help his friend.  He told his disciples, "Aren't there twelve hours in a day?"  Jesus didn't let circumstances, pressure, or others dictate his action or timetable.  Each of us has our "day" with enough time to do what God wants of us; we can either waste it or use it for his glory.  The Romans and Jews divided the day, sunrise to sunset, into twelve hours; then work and travel ended.  Jesus made an analogy with our relationship with God:  while the light of Christ is with us, we must live and walk in his light.  Now is the time to make peace with God.  Jesus' raising Lazarus is more than a miracle; it's a "sign" of God's promise to raise up all who die in Christ; that's why Jesus asked Martha whether she believed in the resurrection.  Our creed culminates in the proclamation of the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.  "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus dwells in you, he who raised Christ will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit."  God gives us his Spirit so we may be made alive in Christ, transformed into people of faith, hope, and love. May we let the power of Jesus' resurrection work in us today....
    'Lazarus' means "God my help."  Through the sickness and death of Lazarus, God brought glory through his Son, who raised Lazarus from the dead in anticipation of his own resurrection.  "As bread from the earth, after God's blessing, is no longer ordinary bread but Eucharist, formed of two things, earthly and heavenly, so too our bodies that partake of the Eucharist are no longer corruptible but possess the hope of resurrection" (Against Heresies 4,18, 5).  "I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!  Wait for the Lord; be strong, and take courage!"
      • John Payne, convert, priest, martyr:  “I honored the queen’s majesty; I would have spent my life for her in any lawful service; I prayed for her as for my own soul; I never invented or compassed any treason against her.”

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