Fifth Sunday of Lent
Death does not have the final say. This is the great mystery we ponder on this Fifth Sunday of Lent. Martha and Mary were good friends of Jesus. They did not hide their confusion and grief from the Lord; they voiced their conviction that if Jesus had been with them during their brother’s illness, he would not have died. Jesus entered into their grief and more—he overturned it. Lazarus’ death became the occasion for Jesus to show all who had gathered the mercy of God who cries out, “Oh my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them.” In this moment, the world was given a sign of the new life to come through Christ, the Risen One.
FROM DEATH TO NEW LIFE
There really is no way around it. Eventually, we will grapple with the death of a loved one, a parent, sibling, spouse, or dear friend. As we mature, we also begin to come to terms with our own mortality. Our Sunday readings this Lent have invited our reflection on the big questions of life and faith. We have resolved to turn away from sin and toward God, listening to the Lord and responding with open minds and hearts. We have acknowledged and perhaps heightened our thirst for the Lord and have committed ourselves to walk in the light of God’s grace. Today, we journey from death to new life, reflecting on the mystery of Christ who is the resurrection and the life.
COME TO BELIEVE
Martha had a uniquely personal relationship with Jesus. She spoke with him honestly, baring her heart to Jesus, openly expressing her confusion and sorrow at her brother’s death. Jesus’ response led Martha to a deep declaration of faith, “I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” We, too, can have a uniquely personal relationship with Jesus. We can speak honestly to the Lord, baring our hearts, expressing the truth of each moment of our lives, whether in joy or sorrow, happiness, grief, confusion, or times of fulfillment. In such honesty and trust, we may find deeper faith as well, coming to believe that Christ is our all, our way, truth, and life