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On this final Sunday of Lent before Palm Sunday, we hear Jesus’ call Lazarus forth from the tomb.  Jesus calls us as well, calls us forth from our tombs of sin and death, where our harmful habits and attitudes separate us from God, from life.  He is the resurrection.  He is the life.  Jesus’ words to Martha then are his words to us now: Do you believe this?  Do you believe the God can bring life out of death?  Do you believe that God can free us from the burial bands of sin?  Let us recover that faith within us and so prepare ourselves to witness the Resurrection.



It seems a bit strange to have this gospel on the Fifth Sunday of Lent. It seems to be clearly about the resurrection and yet we are still plodding through Lent and have to get through Good Friday before we get to Easter. What’s going on; have the Church’s liturgical engineers got it all wrong? Can I suggest that this text is more about death than resurrection? After all, Lazarus isn’t walking around today; he had to undergo another death. This text is more about our life and death here and now rather than about the resurrection. We will have time enough to consider the resurrection when we get to Easter Sunday and the weeks of celebration afterwards.

In his Spiritual Exercises St Ignatius Loyola suggests that when reading a particular Gospel passage, we should put ourselves in the place of each character in turn and use our imagination to see how we would feel in those circumstances. This can be a most revealing exercise. How about putting myself in the place of Lazarus? I am dead to everything and then I hear a voice: ‘Come out, Lazarus.’ There I am, lying in a tomb swathed in bandages and surrounded by darkness. If we wonder how we would feel in this situation, the answer would be different for everyone, but I think many might say: Thanks Lord, but I’d prefer to stay where I am.

While attempting to put ourselves imaginatively in Lazarus’s place we might become aware of how tomb-like our present way of life is and rekindle a longing for freedom which has perhaps been buried for years. Putting ourselves into the place of a character from scripture can awake READ MORE


Gospel: Jonh 11:1-45

Jesus’ raising of Lazarus shows his divine power”. 

Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill. So, the sisters sent a message to Jesus, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”

But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God’s glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”

The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.”   READ MORE

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