Daily Reflection: Sunday, March 29

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I am sharing with you my homily for the Fifth Sunday in Lent.

A reminder that the entire Mass has been videotaped and is available on our Parish website: www.stmoside.org.

Lazarus…come out! Lazarus…come out! Lazarus…come out!

What did Lazarus begin to think when he heard the voice of Jesus?

As Lazarus began to stir: That voice…that is my friend…that is Jesus. Where is that voice coming from?

Where am I? It is so cold in here, it is so dark in here! There is a stench! It smells like rotting flesh!

Oh my God…that’s me….I died…now I remember…that’s why I am in here…what’s going on? Why do I hear my buddy Jesus?

Is this for real? Why is he calling me out of the tomb? They are now rolling the stone back…What’s happening?

I am getting another chance at life! But do I want it?

I was kinda relieved when I died…the family business was going under…customers where no longer buying our olive oil…

I was living with Martha and Mary, my two sisters who never married…there was constant tension in the house and I always got caught in between them…

Mary didn’t want to do much around the house…she just wanted to pray all the time and entertain guests like Jesus…

And Martha has OCD…always cleaning, always dusting, always putting things in order…I could never please her…

And I never married, never found the right woman, and I was lonely, wondering what life is all about!

But there were also a lot of good times…the parties with the rest of the family…sports with my buddies…

Life is a mixed bag…good and not so good...sometimes really difficult…but Jesus always talked about life as a gift…to embrace it and love it with its ups and downs and to trust in God…

So often when I was talking with Jesus, he seemed like he was speaking on behalf of God, as if God was his father… he always talked about trust, about loving God, and loving one another…

Oh, the stone is rolled back all the way now. He is still calling me: “Lazarus, come out!” I need to trust in him… I will trust in him… I am coming back to life, because of him!

Lazarus comes out of the tomb…he is still wrapped in the burial cloths, hand and foot.  And then Jesus says to those who were there... “Untie him and let him go free…”

Think about this: Jesus is the life force: He brings the dead back to life…but he then asks the community to do their part, a necessary part: “Untie him, and let him go free.”

Jesus over and over again, call all us out of our tombs – tombs of sin, selfishness, self-pity, anger, loneliness, defeat, pain, and the list goes on…there are a million kinds of tombs…

If we hear his call and answer, he brings us back to life…but then we need the community, family & friends, a faith family to untie us and let us go free…

Sometimes we are in the tomb and we need deliverance and sometimes we are a member of the community that needs to untie someone and allow them to go free, free of what put them in that tomb in the first place…

In these days, it is not an exaggeration to say the entire global village is in the tomb of the coronavirus….

But we are people of faith, we know that Jesus is calling us out of this tomb…and it will happen and we will be brought back to life. But what kind of life and world will it be?

Hopefully, it will be a better world, that we will have learned something from this time in the tomb…but let’s not fool ourselves…it will still be a world of joy and suffering, of celebration and defeat, success and failure, love and hatred, peace and war, life and death! Remember, Lazarus, after coming out of the tomb, would have to die once again!

But we trust in God, and in the call of Jesus, and we will come out of this tomb…

But let us remember, that it will also be all of us to whom Jesus will say: “Untie each other, and let yourselves go free!”

We will be brought back to life, hopefully more sensitive, more caring, and more connected to each other, and we will bring that gift back to our old world, renewing it just a bit.

We will come out of this tomb, we will be brought back to life, we will untie each other, so that we can go free to live our lives again, but with more care, more compassion, more connectedness, having a greater sense that we are a Global Village, and we are all sisters and brothers and children of one God!

Let’s listen and wait for the call of Jesus: “Lazarus, come out!”

--Fr. Mike

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