Fifth Sunday of Lent (A)
Psalm 130: With the Lord, there is mercy and fullness of redemption
Welcome to the fifth Sunday of Lent!
This Sunday completes the trilogy na nagsimula noong third Sunday. On the third Sunday of Advent, the desire for the living water; on the fourth Sunday, the desire to be healed of spiritual blindness; and this Sunday – the desire to share in the eternal life with the Risen Lord.
The Gospel for today is the Raising of Lazarus Back to Life. Dedbol na po si Lazarus noong dumating si Hesus. Ayaw nang pabuksan ni Marta ang kanyang libingan sapagkat for sure, maantsot na.Ngunit ng si Hesus ay sumigaw, “Lazarus, come out!” Lumabas nga si Lazarus. Siya ay buhay!
Today, may I invite you that we reflect on two things:
- Our hope of resurrection.
The Jews believed that the soul of a dead person remains with the body for three days. Then after three days, the soul departs from the body and will never return again. It is at this point that the corruption of the human body will set in.
Eh si Hesus dumating on the fourth day. Kaya, sabi ni Martha, “But Lord, by this time, there is a bad odor, for he has been there for four days.” (John 11:39) In short, Lord, hopeless na yan eh, umalis na ang kaluluwa niyan eh, di mo na maibabalik yan. Wala na eh.
But Jesus made the impossible. Jesus said in a loud voice, “Lazarus come out. The dead man came out.” (John 11:44)
This is a challenge for us never to give up hope even in hopeless situations as indiviiduals, as a church or as a nation. God will always make a way.
The raising of Lazarus back to life is already a symbolic narrative of Jesus’ victory over death and an anticipation of his resurrection. Ang malaking milagro ito assures us that we shall also be raised into eternal life after our battle with sin and death in the world.
- Our hope of being renewed.
The cave or the tomb kung saan nakahimlay si Lazarus is a place of darkness. When called out by Christ, Lazarus gropes his way out of the dark.
Ang muling pagkabuhay is not only something that we shall benefit sa dako pa roon. We can live it out every day by being hopeful. Hope will make a world of difference to those who have it.
Sabi ng isang kaibigan sa akin: You smoke, you die; you do not smoke, you die. You pray you die, you do not pray – you die. It is still the same. Mamamatay ka pa rin. So ano itong he who believes in Christ, will never die. Fr, Yong lolo ko, laging nagsisimba – namatay pa rin.
I told him, the difference is: when you believe and you have hope in your heart, you will endeavor to renew yourself everyday through the grace of God. Hindi ka latak! Hindi ka hopeless. Despite your darkness and many unbecoming behaviors, you too will never give up on yourself because God’s grace is always reliable.
Brothers and sisters, in hope we are saved. (Romans 8:24). With hope, our present, even if it is difficult, can be lived and accepted because we know our goal (eternal life) – and that is great enough to justify our effort for our journey.
The Psalm 130 for today reminds us: “With the Lord, there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”
This is Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD. Witness to the Word.