The Fifth Sunday of Lent WE 03/25/2023-03/26/2023
We anticipate the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus announced in the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday by praying in hope that one day we will be raised and united to the Risen Christ for an eternity. It is the powerful hope which moves us to pray for those who have died, whom we have loved at the celebration of funeral Masses and in the intentions we offer at daily and Sunday Mass. It is this eventual unity with Christ in eternity that is our goal and our end as we walk and live by the light of faith and attend with urgency to the lessons of Jesus offered in the Gospels.
The readings announced and proclaimed on this Fifth Sunday of Lent reinforce the hope we have in the Resurrection of Jesus and its provision of hope for our own lives eternal. The Prophet Ezekiel preached that the Lord God will open the graves and move people to be raised and brought back to a new and blessed Israel. Paul too, in preaching to the Romans, speaks of the same ideal: "If the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you."
The Gospel taken from John tells the familiar story of Lazarus, who is raised from the dead by Jesus in the aftermath of a request by Lazarus' sisters to help in what seemed like a dire situation. The story of Lazarus is so familiar and its point so well known that it has crept into the lexicon of the public square as a lesson in unending hope. The Gospel is familiar to us as we celebrate funeral Masses for those we have loved and love still. It provides a promise from God that our lives on earth are not our end, but a pathway to eternal love and life. "Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died, but even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you'."
So it is that we strengthened on this Sunday so close to the Easter celebrations by the anticipation of our Resurrection and that of Jesus. We participate in the outcomes of His Resurrection as we receive the Eucharist in faith and are pointed in the direction of service to our neighbor. One of the ways in which we do that in this Archdiocese is by participating with generosity in the Archdiocesan Catholic Appeal, an important collection by which we share responsibility for the positive outcomes of the good works of the Archdiocese and its institutions. We look to go well beyond our goal, as we have done each of the last five years and it will be with your commitment that we do so. The Baby Shower Bassinet remains at the back of the church awaiting your contributions of things like diapers, wipes, formula, clothing and other items. Please continue to bring nonperishable food items to the porch at the Rectory and these will be distributed to needy families.
Thanks and have a great week!
God Bless!! Fr. Joe