Reflection on the death and resurrection of Jesus in the Holy Week leading to our own death with the hope of resurrection is the central theme of the Scripture readings for the fifth Sunday of Lent.
Scripture lessons: Ezekiel, in the first reading, bears witness in his vision to the reanimation of the dead Israel in preparation for her return to the Promised Land. The Lord God assures His people that nothing, not even death will stop Him from carrying out His promise. In the second reading, St. Paul assures the early Roman Christians who were facing death by persecution, and us who are surrounded by a culture of death, that the same Spirit Who raised Jesus from
the dead and Who dwells within us will give life to our mortal bodi
es. Paul considers the Resurrection of Jesus the basis for our hope of sharing in it after our own death. For John, in today’s Gospel, the raising of Lazarus is the final and greatest sign of Jesus, the Deliverer, a symbolic narrative of His victory over death at the cost
of His own life and a sign anticipating His Resurrection. Describing this great miracle, the Church assures us that we, too, will be raised into eternal life after our battle with sin and death in this world. Thus,
resurrection hope is the central theme of the Scripture readings for the fifth Sunday of Lent. The readings assure us that our faith in Jesus, Who is “the resurrection and the life,” promises our partici-
pation in resurrection and new life.
Life messages: #1: “Roll away the stone, unbind him and let him go.” We often bind ourselves with chains of addiction to alcohol, drugs, sexual deviations, slander, gossip, envy, prejudices, hatred and uncontrollable anger and bury ourselves in the tombs of despair. Sometimes we are\ in the tomb of selfishness, filled with negative feelings such as worry, fear, resentment, hatred, and guilt. If we want Jesus to visit our dark dungeons of sin, despair and unhappiness, let us ask Jesus during this Holy Mass to bring the light and the power of His Holy Spirit into our private life and liberate us from our
tombs. When we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Jesus will call our name and command, "Come out"! This is goodnews for all of us, “Lazarus, come out!” This can be the beginning of a new life.
2) We need to be ready to welcome death any time. We live in a world that is filled withdeath. We kill each other in acts of murder, abortion, euthanasia, execution, war and terrorist activities. We kill ourselves through suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, overwork, stress, bad eating habits, and physical neglect. The most important question is: am I ready to face my death? All of us know that we will surely die, but each of us foolishly thinks that he or she will not die any time in the near future. Let us be wise, well-prepared and ever ready to meet ourLord with a clear conscience when the time comes.