5th Sunday of Lent Year A, March 29, 2020-“It will not end in death”

“In Him, the hope of blessed resurrection has dawned, that those saddened by the certainty of dying might be consoled by the promise of immortality to come. Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended, and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust, an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven” (preface of the dead 1).
On this Fifth Sunday of Lent, the readings point our attention to resurrection hope as a defeat over death in the mortal body thanks to Jesus who died and rose from the dead.


There are moments in life when we feel hidden behind a heavy stone of problems. We struggle to come out but to no avail because the stone is too heavy and our hands and feet are also bound by the problem. We cry for help but non seems to come. Friends and relations are desirous to help but they are limited because it is apparently beyond their power. Let us at this moment imagine those living with terminal phase of CANCER. What about the patients of COVID-19 at an intensive unit? What about other extreme cases and problems? Don’t they look like Lazarus in the tomb of problem? But the Gospel tells us that no situation is extreme for our God. Even when he has taken much time to come to our rescue, let us remember that he did it in the case of Lazarus who was already decaying with his problem. It does not matter when he comes, but he will always come. He does not need to raise us up from the immediate problem for us to believe that he is present. Yes, sometimes he allows the Lazarus in us to go (that which is so precious to us and which we think without it we cannot survive). The good news is that while we think that all hope is gone, he gives us comfort and strength to face the future with courage. Let us think of how people still survive even when the one they consider as the pillar of their life is no more. It can only be the Lord’s doing.

Martha retorted, “Lord by now we will smell because it is already four days gone.” ‘O poor Martha how I wish you will understand the power of the one standing before you?’ When we have spent many years in the same problem we are tempted to lose hope because “it is now four days and smelling, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.” Jesus who stands before Lazarus is telling us, “I did not just come to raise a fresh corpse but a decomposed corpse. Yes, it is an extreme situation in the eyes of men but with me nothing is extreme.” Friends, have we ever thought about what happened to the smell that Martha spoke about even as they went ahead to remove the stone? Little did Martha know that he who commanded that the stone be removed had long taken care of the smell. And Lazarus came out with a sweet fragrance instead of odor. May our God in Jesus exchange your decayed situation with a fresh solution.

For the sake of love he came to Bethany at the expense of his own life.
For the sake of love and without hiding his feeling, he wept.
For the sake of love still he lifted his gaze to heaven and pleaded to the Father on their behalf. He gave them back their only brother.
Every single day is a renewal of his love for us. But sometimes we are tempted to think that he does not love us, simply because he did not “raise our own Lazarus from death.” What has he not done for us? Do we think that our present problem is more than the debt he paid on the cross by uniting us back to the Father?
Have we ever imagined how heavy and crushing the cross was? He did nothing to deserve it, but because he fell in love with us, he could not say no. Who could ever do that for the sake of love if not Jesus?

Lord you answered Mary and Martha and gave them back their lost hope. We humbly implore you to hear our cry for mercy upon our world sickened by the viral epidemic and heal us. Amen.

Source:  http://www.acatholic.org/5th-sunday-of-lent-year-a-march-29-2020-it-will-not-end-in-death/