Jesus said to Martha: “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”
The Readings of the 5th Sunday of Lent are filled with scenes of human frailties (Ezekiel 37:12-14; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45)
The First Reading tells us of the suffering of the Jewish people during the Babylonian captivity. The prophet Ezekiel’s vision of a field covered with dry bones, represents the suffering of God’s people and their nation destroyed by the Babylonians.
In the Gospel Reading, we encounter the dying Lazarus, his sisters Martha and Mary, and their Jewish neighbors mourning his loss, Jesus weeping at the death of his friend, and the disciples agonizing over Jesus’s impending death in Jerusalem.
The Raising of Lazarus by Rembrandt
However, all this human frailty and suffering was turned around because of faith in God, a faith as clearly demonstrated by Martha’s confession: “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”
This profound faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, as Saint Paul reminds us in the Second Reading that the Spirit of Christ lives in us, and with Him, we can and we will overcome anything, even death itself.
The Ressurection of Lazarus by Jean Baptiste Corneille
That is why the resurrection of Lazarus is for us a sign of even greater things to come, for all who love God. It is a sign to us that there is life beyond the grave, and Jesus is the one who will bring us to this new life if we make it our choice to follow him. What a comfort this is to us when we lose a loved one whom we know has lived and died in God’s grace.
The Ressurection of Lazarus by Giovanni di Paolo
Therefore, as we go through life and all its loses, and little deaths, grieving over our poor health, our job loss, our threatened security or loss of something that meant a lot to us, may we have the trust as Martha, that even in these frailties, losses and sufferings, God can, and will bring life out of death. This is what is meant by the Easter mystery that we are preparing to celebrate in two weeks. “For, we know that all things work for good for those who love God.” Rom 8:28. AMEN.
Peace be with you!
Fr. Frank Lubowa