THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT
"Live so as not to fear death. For those who live well in the world,
One of the realities in life is death. Everyone will die one day. But death is a scary prospect, not knowing exactly what will happen to us; also not being ready to die. There are four certainties about death that lead us into oblivion: no one knows HOW he/she will die, no one knows WHEN he/she will die, no one knows WHERE he/she will die and no one knows WHAT will lead him/her to death. Perhaps, medically doctors can predict. It is only a suggestion! The certainty is still beyond our domain.
In our second century we live in a culture of death: caused by abortion, suicide, homicide, wars and the current coronavirus pandemic. Due to this, we are even afraid of one another. We are all observing social distancing. Indeed death is real!
However, death, in our Christian life, is not an end in itself but a transition from this terrestrial world to the celestial abode. There is the hope of new life. A life of eternity. What we should be concerned about is that, if I die where will my soul be, in the Kingdom of the Father or hellfire?
In our first reading the Prophet Ezekiel uttered the oracle of God to the Israelites that, ”I am going to open up your graves and raise you up.” This was a message to motivate them that a time will come they will be lifted from their current devastating slavery and captivity in the exile of Babylon. Their waywardness (sin) plunged them into this unpleasant situation. It was a promise of liberty and forgiveness for them.
Sisters and Brothers in Christ, whenever we sin by disobedience we live in exile in the guilt of our conscience. It’s as if there is no life in us because obliteration takes hold of us. This is the death we experience and it takes only God to raise us up. In this Lenten season go to the throne of mercy (sacrament of reconciliation) to seek for newness of life. (Call the Central Office to make an appointment.)
Paul, in the second reading, encourages that there is a future resurrection and an unending glory for those who remain loyal to God and His son Jesus Christ. If we live in the spirit and in the righteousness of life we will be eligible for the resurrection won by the suffering and death of Christ. As we approach Holy Week there is the need to make resolutions, commitments and let go our old ways.
In our gospel reading Jesus gives evidence that He has power over death by bringing Lazarus back to life. If we place our hopes and trust in Him, especially in this scary situation of this COVID-19, He is going to save and preserve us against it. As human beings, we must know that death is knocking at our doors every day, so every moment of our lives should be one of preparation and readiness.
The Psalmist says, “I trust in God and my soul trusts in the word of the Lord.” This should be our priority and focus in life. It is in His resurrection that we have new life. There is a hope for you regardless of your sins. Take advantage of this in this season of Grace. Remember this; it is a strong and ardent faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ that give us the eyes to see death through the lens of hope!
Safer Home...PRAY... Keep the Faith.
You are on my mind ... Still praying for you.... see you on Facebook live.
Fr. Emmanuel hails from Ghana and is passionate about the Gospel and bringing the love of Christ to all people. He speaks several languages, enjoys soccer and cooking, and loves St. Francis of Assisi.