March 29, 2020
(Fifth Sunday of Lent, A)
Thus says the Lord GOD: O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people! I will put my spirit in you that you may live, Ez_37:12-14
After the death of her brother Lazarus, Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.“ . . .
Jesus came to the tomb of Lazarus and cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” Jn_11:1-45
God had prepared them for centuries before the event would ever occur. The words could not have been more direct and exact. And then, upon the actual coming of Jesus, He prepared them as well, with parables, teachings, healings, exorcisms and love.
And so it was done – exactly the way Ezekiel prophesied, Lazarus ROSE! Four days in the tomb, he was beyond just dead, he was rotting. And yet this resuscitation was nothing less than a miracle, that only God could perform. They say “the proof is in the pudding.” Jesus gave them the taste! And yet many of the people of the time were cursed with ageusia (you can look that one up), besides being blind and deaf. Yet, they had no lack of overly-wagging tongues.
You see, in itself, the rising of Lazarus was a prefiguring, not only of what Jesus would do Himself in a much more spectacular, spiritual and eternal way, but it is something that we ourselves could look forward to as well.
Jesus promised we will ALL rise (some to eternal life and some to eternal damnation). And we, beloved, are in constant preparation for the former. In the meantime, Jesus gave us the Blessed Sacrament to tickle our tastes with the “pudding” of Truth, the pudding of life, the pudding of Himself in us, until the He comes again to make it a reality!
This is our Faith. And no virus and no recession and no politicians nor media can ever take that away from us. And if we ever get to feeling that those “worldly” cares have “bound us” like Lazarus in the dark, always remember Jesus’ command: “Untie (them/us) and let (them/us) go!” By our Faith in Jesus we HAVE been set FREE!
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