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My Seven-Minute-Homily, April 10th 2011
Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year A
The Book of the prophet Ezekiel 37,12-14; The Letter of St. Paul to The Romans 8,8-11
and the Gospel of St. John 11,1-45
Today, we celebrate the fifth Sunday of Lent. Next Sunday, Palm Sunday, we will enter into the celebration of the Passion of Christ. Through the five weeks of Lent, we have the impression to follow Jesus during the three years of his public life.
In fact, on the First Sunday of Lent, through the temptation of Jesus in the deserty, the Gospel presented to us the reality of life: Temptation and challenges. On the Second Sunday of Lent, through the transfiguration of Jesus on the Mount of Tabor, we learned about the glory of God manifested in the man Jesus. On the Third Sunday of Lent, Jesus brevealed himself as the living water, the source of life. On the fourth Sunday of Lent, that is last Sunday, by restoring the sight for the born man blind, Jesus declared himself as the light of the world. And in today’s Gospel, Lazarus is brought back to life. Jesus solemnly reveals that he is the resurrection and the life.
The miracles which Jesus done, were bigger and bigger until the biggest one of all: His own resurrection. The revelations of Jesus are more and more related to us until the revelation of the resurrection. It is the most important matter for our Christian life. The celebration of the Risen Christ is the heart of Christianity. It directly touches faith, hope and the final destination of humankind.
What does Jesus mean when he says “I am the resurrection and the life”? Why does resurrection have such important meaning for us, as Christians?
Resurrection means raising from the dead and entering into eternal life and never to die again. Therefore, human death is not an unreasonable and of life, rather it is a transformation from temporal life to eternal life. In this sense, we always proclaim solemnly in each mass: Christ has died, Christ is risen
In today’s Gospel, by restoring Lazarus to life, Jesus predicted his own resurrection. He explains to people that they will see him die on the cross and be buried as Lazarus was, but then they will also see him raised again as Lazarus was when coming out from the tomb. This is the meaning of the resurrection and this also is the prophecy of our resurrection in the future.
The resurrection of Jesus is most important for us. As Christians, we believe in the Risen Christ. We believe also that we will rise from the dead by the power of God and enter into eternal life. This is our faith, our hope and the reason of our Christian work. If there was nothing after death, we would have no reason to live a life of justice, love and charity.
All Gospels of Lent put us on the same journey as Jesus. We follow Jesus from the very first steps of his public life, from the first challenges in the desert to the tomb of Lazarus in today’s Gospel, and then to the tomb of Jesus Himself in the coming Gospels. They show us the journey of Jesus on the way to his resurrection. Resurrection is the final station with its glorious victory.
We are also on the way to resurrection. It is a victory over sin and death. There is no victory if there is no struggling to overcome weaknesses in us. We have many experiences of falter in life. Lent is a good occasion for us to purify ourselves by asking God for forgiveness of sins, by listening to God’s word and by receiving the Body of Christ. There are good ways to follow Jesus on the way to resurrection.
Besides, our own resurrection is based on that of Christ. Jesus came before the tomb where Lazarus was buried and ordered the dead man top “come out”. Let us ask God for spiritual strength in order that we can quickly come out of our falter and always believe firmly in the promise of resurrection, we can live our Christian way of life with justice, charity and love for our brothers and sisters.
O Lord, we give you thanks for your promise of resurrection for us when you restored Lazarus to life. May we know how to live this hope right here in our earthly lives by remaining in a holy life with fullness of charity and love for others. Amen
Father Great Rice