April 2, 2017 — Fifth Sunday of Lent
EZ 37: 12-14; PS 130: 1-8; ROM 8: 8-11; JN 11: 1-45
Easter is two weeks away. There is an understandable and logical reason that we hear the Gospel Reading from St. John about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead on this Fifth Sunday of Lent. Jesus’ Resurrection is ever nearer for us. His miracle of raising Lazarus is the last recorded by John, but its timing is exactly what the Lord wished it to be.
In the Gospel, Jesus makes it all clear to us. The Lord says, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” That understanding and acceptance and rejoicing at the Resurrection is what Lent has been about and what our preparations in these final days of Lent should be about as well.
Phillips Brooks is probably best known as the author/composer of one of the most endearing Christmas Carols “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” However, Brooks also understood what faith is all about. He said, “Let every man and woman count himself and herself immortal. Let them catch the revelation of Jesus in His resurrection. Let each say not merely, ‘Christ is risen,’ but also ‘I shall rise’.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1002) says, “Christ will raise us up ‘on the last day’; but it is also true that, in a certain way, we have already risen with Christ. For, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, Christian life is already now on earth in participation in the death and Resurrection of Christ.” It is this truth, this hope, that we are to embrace as Easter approaches.