(From the Bulletin of Sts. Joachim and Ann Catholic Church, April 2, 2017)
Fifth Sunday of Lent
We're on the last lap of our Lenten journey ... just a couple of weeks left. And, as the drama intensifies in the tension between Jesus and the Pharisees, so too, our personal struggle to overcome the weak spots in our spiritual armor should also "heat up." There's so little time remaining before our well-deserved Easter joy!
What great symbols we've had to tease our imaginations and challenge our minds: water to quench our thirst on the Third Sunday, light in place of darkness on the Fourth Sunday and now life coming forth from the tomb of Lazarus on the Fifth Sunday.
Jesus arrives in Bethany only to find that His dear friend Lazarus has died. Martha has broken the news, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would never have died!" Is she reproaching Jesus, or merely expressing her faith in Him? And what does He do? He bursts into tears, His heart torn with sorrow. What? God is crying! How grateful we are for this glimpse of the tender heart of God! Then Jesus tells them to roll the stone back. They try to stop Him, warning Him of the stench. But Jesus persists. And the Spirit of God enters into the body of Lazarus, and he comes out alive. When the Spirit enters, death departs, for death cannot prevail over Life.
It looks so easy, this miracle of Jesus, but the people are astounded. No one has ever come back from the dead before. He must be the promised Messiah. Yet, in a few short days, how skillfully the propagators of deceit will convince the people that it must have all been in their imaginations! The crowd will prepare themselves to betray Goodness and demand a cross on which to hang the Compassionate One.
As we go forward on our journey to Calvary, we should not fear the power of evil that so clearly fuels the plotting of the Pharisees. All evil in this world will have a short life.
Fr. Louis Kemayou, Pastor