Homily April 6, 2014 5th Sunday of Lent

Posted in christian, Christianity, church events, ecclesiology, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on April 2, 2014

lazarus2Today’s readings dwell very much on death and life. To every person, life is a very intimate reality that we experience uniquely from when we are conceived and become aware. Each person’s life experience is different and we all develop in our own unique and special way. Today’s gospel is an account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. In the gospel of John it is the last of what are called the seven great signs performed by Jesus. He didn’t use the word miracle but signs which pointed to the Savior.

The raising of Lazarus contains much to ponder on our journey to Easter. First, we can see that Jesus had a great love for Lazarus and his sisters. He had put off coming at first word of Lazarus’s sickness and the sadness of the sisters certainly affected him. It is one of the two times we are told Jesus wept. Yet he knew that Lazarus was to be a sign for the glory of God. Life is the manifestation of God’s love in his creatures. Life on earth is a physical thing of time and the universe. It is the manifestation of our being in this world, but as we know life and this temporal world will end. However love will never end and the unique love that is us will continue on forever as the unique person we are before God. In time and space we are called to perfect this love by loving God, and others as we love ourselves. Our connectedness in love is the way to how we connect to God and eternal life. Love is the connection that is the constant of creation. God never walked away or abandoned his creation but chose to reveal himself to his creatures and redeem them by sending his son.

Jesus in today’s gospel raised Lazarus to reveal God’s love and glory. But some of the men and leaders of Jesus’ interpreted the raising Lazarus as a threat to them and to the peace with Rome. Their love was different and self-centered and closed to the notion that God could come to them lazarusexcept in the temple somehow. They were comfortable with the way things were, pleased to be in place and time leading in their own way. They knew the history of their ancestors and knew a Messiah would come, but they had forgotten that God never quite acted in the way humanity expected. They forgot that the prophets from God were often rejected. To them, Jesus was an outsider, a man stirring up the good order of things and complicating their relations with the Romans.

Today, we can learn that the Spirit of God is among us. This Spirit reminds us the world is temporary and what we build becomes a memory when we die. What really remains is the love that was and is present in the life of those who remain. Love will never fail to fill up all life and eternity for we know that God himself is love. In living this life in God’s love, we will always be living where our true treasure is.