A Reflection From Deacon Conti

Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Lent 2020

It would seem by what is happening around us and around the world today that we are also in need of Jesus to come sooner, just as Martha said to Jesus “if you had come earlier my brother would not have died”. But we also experience the mighty power of God even after the death of Lazarus. This Love that God has for Lazarus is also available to each and every one of one of us and this must give us great hope.

I don’t believe what is happening to us today has ever occurred in the past, where the Church, built for the very purpose of bringing us to together as one body, has been threatened and closed temporarily. This can cause us Christians great sadness, for we do not have the opportunity to witness the memory of the sacrifice that we long for, for it promises us believer’s endless life.

How must we understand our faith today? Has God Judged us in this way? We can arrive at many answers to support this judgement by God upon us. We have to just look at the way sin has overtaken goodness in our world. How the poor are neglected and must survive on anything or anyplace to sustain their very lives. We have failed as leaders and as a community but we will not acknowledge our own failings; on the contrary, we seek opportunities to blame others.

In the First Reading, the exile of the people to Babylon is considered a death sentence. But their coming back is understood as their resurrection. Our God is a loving God and we must know that he cares for all of us. St Paul affirms this in the Second Reading, death must not trouble us, for we also possess the same Spirit that brought Jesus back to life in defeating death.

The Gospel about the resurrection of Lazarus highlights God’s unique ways. Our hope at times may seem futile, our faith is tested, some die, others criticize God’s ways, others see God in tears hurt at the loss of good, but in the end resurrection is displayed first hand for all of those witness it and for all of us to believe in it – that Death is not the end.

Suffering cannot be understood, loss of jobs, loss of income, uncertainty of the future – why have these times gone so wrong? But if we are patient and we do not turn our backs on God, like the many times it had occurred in the Old Testament, we begin to see a meaning in the shadows. There is a light that stands out in our darkness, it is our faith to understand that this suffering is temporary and our bodies are blessed and suffering is at times necessary to prevent an even greater tragedy, and to also remind us of the existence of God and our need for his intervention.

So let us find our own spots at home, to invite God into our lives and ask Him to make his will known to us. Let us remember our fragile elderly and the many innocent people who have been contaminated unknowingly by this sickness in going about their daily tasks. Let us remember all those who are affected directly and indirectly in some way by this pandemic. Let us thank God for our blessings and try to undertake a life of faith, hope and charity, as we once again prepare ourselves to remember the Lord’s death and resurrection.