Church of the Holy Family; Our Lady’s Church, March 29, 2020.
This is not a sermon–just notes on the 5th Sunday of Lent readings to help you meditate and contemplate them, now that we all have plenty of time during the coming week as the Church prepares us for Holy Week. This Sunday Our Lord gives Martha and Mary, and us, us a very valuable lesson – -the cross is the way to salvation and resurrection–not something we want to hear, but very apposite in the present crisis. He had come to lead us through obedience on the cross to resurrection and the Glory of God.
Opening Prayer : ” Father, help us to be like Christ, your Son, who loved the world and died for our salvation. Inspire us by his love, guide us by his example, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit , one God, for ever and ever. Amen “
This Sunday looks forward to Holy Week and Easter with the account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead–the most spectacular miracle performed by the lord.
Ezekiel : “ You will know I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live” This is a ” word “ of the Old Testament , does not make sense I itself, but is waiting to be fulfilled in the New, which occurs in the resurrection of the Lord and his promise of resurrection to his followers. This often happens to Old Testament prophecies –they have to wait for the New Testament to get fulfilled.
Psalm 129 : ” With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption” —by taking upthe cross and following the Lord.
Some notable quotations from the key passage of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. These quotations have passed into everyday language.
Jesus “ This sickness will not end in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified “ This refers even more to his own death on the cross. No cross, no glory. Something to remember at this present time
“Jesus wept” : One of the shortest and most dramatic sentences in the Bible. Com/passion” means to “ suffer with” Our Lord suffers with humanity–Lazarus represents all mankind . At the present time he has compassion for all who suffer .
Jesus : “ I am the resurrection. If anyone believe in me, even though he dies he will live and who ever lives and believes in me will never die “
Recited at every Christian funeral. The Lord here speaks of two kinds of life — biological life, begun at conception/ birth and ending in death; eternal life, begun at baptism and continuing forever beyond the grave. Eternal life is our relationship with God –knowing Him and the Son whom he has sent
Martha : I believe that you are the Christ the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world. This is one of the most explicit acts of faith in the divinity of Christ. Compares with Peter’s act of faith in Matthew’s Gospel.
Martha : “ He will smell–this is the fourth day “ Jews believed the soul left the body on the third day– so by the fourth day he was really gone, making the miracle more spectacular.
Thomas : “ Let us go, too, and die with him “ Often called doubting Thomas, here he can be called courageous Thomas. Disciples were aware of the danger to Jesus and themselves in and near Jerusalem.
The aftermath : After this many Jews believed in him. The chief priests decided he was becoming too popular and decided to put him to death. Caiphas uttered the prophecy, unaware of its inner and real truth : “ You know nothing at all. You do not seem to realiSe that it is better for us that one man die for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed.” The Gospel of John explains :” As the high priest he was prophesying that Jesus was to die for the nation, and not for the nation alone, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God. From that day on hey plotted to kill him” .John ch. 11 v 5-53
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday . If you have a Sunday missal you will be able to follow the readings and prayers for Holy Week and Easter. I expect there will be many simplified versions of the services on-line. EWTN, as the Catholic channel on TV , is always reliable.
May the Lord Bless and Keep us all in his love
May the members of the Holy Family , Jesus, Mary and Joseph protect us.