Fifth Sunday of Lent
EZ 37:12-14/ROM 8:8-11/JN 11:1-45
This Sunday brings to us the story of the raising of Lazarus. I would like to share with you this Angelus reflection from Pope Francis from 2014:
"Before the sealed tomb of his friend Lazarus, Jesus “cried with a loud voice: ‘Lazarus, come out!’. And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth” (vv. 43-44). This cry is an imperative to all men, because we are all marked by death, all of us; it is the voice of the One who is master of life and wants that all we all may “have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Christ is not resigned to the tombs that we have built for ourselves with our choice for evil and death, with our errors, with out sins. He is not resigned to this! He invites us, almost orders us, to come out of the tomb in which our sins have buried us. He calls us insistently to come out of the darkness of that prison in which we are enclosed, content with a false, selfish and mediocre life. “Come out!”, he says to us, “Come out!”. It is an invitation to true freedom, to allow ourselves to be seized by these words of Jesus who repeats them to each one of us today. It is an invitation to let ourselves be freed from the “bandages”, from the bandages of pride. For pride makes of us slaves, slaves to ourselves, slaves to so many idols, so many things. Our resurrection begins here: when we decide to obey Jesus’ command by coming out into the light, into life; when the mask falls from our face — we are frequently masked by sin, the mask must fall off! — and we find again the courage of our original face, created in the image and likeness of God.
Jesus’ act of raising Lazarus shows the extent to which the power of God’s grace can go, and, thus, the extent of our conversion, our transformation. Listen carefully: there is no limit to the divine mercy offered to everyone!...The Lord is always ready to remove the tombstone of our sins, which keeping us apart from him, the light of the living."
May these words of Pope Francis help us to better understand the depth of God’s grace and His continuous call for us to live fully.