Homily for 5th Sunday of Lent, Year A
Ezekiel. 37:12-14 Romans. 8:8-11 John 11: 1-45
Theme: Union with God
On this fifth Sunday of lent, our readings remind us of the fact that “union with Christ is a necessity for salvation”. This point is clearly expressed in the three readings of today. The prophet Ezekiel gives a message of hope in the first reading. This message of hope is rooted in the resurrection and newness of life. It is a prophecy that would be fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, and the Life.
In the second reading, St. Paul reminds us about the need for us to have the spirit of Christ which is our identity as his followers. It is the spirit of Christ that can bring us the fullness of life that will lead us to life eternal at the end of our earthly pilgrimage. In view of this, we need to imbibe the spirit of Christ because it is a necessity in our lives as children of God; without which one would be empty. We are all encouraged to have the spirit of Christ which gives us our identity as people who belong to him. Anyone who do not have the spirit of Christ, do not belong to him. Thus, the flesh has no power over us as children of God. Suffice it to say that we are people of the spirit, just like Christ himself.
In the gospel reading from St. John, we are presented with the story of the death of Lazarus and the proclamation of Jesus, that he is the “resurrection and the life”. A message was sent across to Jesus that his friend Lazarus was ill, he did not go immediately. His statement was that “this sickness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the son of God may be glorified by means of it”. Truly, everything ended to the glory of God as Jesus had said. Lazarus was brought back to life. There are a lot of things to learn from the gospel passage. The first is the faith that the two sisters had in Jesus; “if you were here our brother would not have died” and Martha said “… even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you”. Their faith is worthy of emulation and Jesus did not disappoint them at the end. He is the resurrection and the life! This he showed by bringing Lazarus back to life. Another important lesson is that we must always respond to the voice of God. Jesus said roll away the stone, and the people did it. Even though it was already four days since he died. We must respond to the teachings of Christ from the scriptures.
Lastly, Jesus said, “Lazarus come out” and he obeyed the words of Jesus. Obedience in our relationship with God is very important. This was how Jesus brought Lazarus back to life. In the same way, Jesus is calling us out of the life challenges that are facing us now, especially during this period of the pandemic of Corona virus. Let us respond to his call that we be united with him in spirit and watch him heal our land and restore peace in our troubled world. May God set us free from anything that is holding us captive like Lazarus in our lives. Amen. Peace be with you.