V SUNDAY OF LENT
ezekiel 37:12-14; romans 8:8-11; john 11:1-45
in may 1988, we moved to jamnagar. the town had been facing a drought for three years. it was dismal when we arrived: the trees were charred; everything had a black or dark brown hue. two days after our arrival, it rained. and the trees began to sprout new leaves. it was an amazing sight: black with specks of green! what seemed dead soon came back to life.
today’s readings are a vivid description of how GOD transforms what is lifeless and a powerful reminder that he constantly does so.
ezekiel tells the exiles—dead in heart and spirit—that GOD will open their graves, raise them, and put his life-giving spirit in them. it’s a message of hope: this maybe your «friday»; your «sunday» will come!
paul writes to the romans that GOD’s spirit gives life to our mortal bodies.
the gospel is the pathos-filled story of the death and raising of lazarus. the story tells us the kind of GOD we have: our GOD
- does not intervene every time to remove pain/suffering and death;
- is with us in the midst of our suffering; he is not only GOD-with-us but also one with us, all-compassionate and empathetic;
- gives us life.
GOD gives individuals and communities new life.
do i believe that GOD enlivens my lifeless and listless self? am i ready to receive this new life?
how can i give that life to others who are without hope and life? will i empathetically be with them?