The Fifth Sunday of Lent
April 2, 2017  
Fr. José Maria Alvim Cortes, F.S.C.B.

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After a long and cold winter, springtime has finally arrived! The season has changed. Everything is renewing itself.

What happens in nature reminds us of the Paschal Mystery, the center of our faith. The Passion, Death, Resurrection and Glorification of Jesus Christ are the final passage from the dark, cold winter to the glorious, joyful spring.

It is very important to remember that our journey is taking us toward something absolutely positive, a destiny of beauty and joy. Our sorrows and sacrifices as pilgrims are transient. We walk with hope because we already know that the Way of the Cross is a glorious path. The pains of this life are our way to glorification.

Jesus’ resurrection of Lazarus is one of His greatest miracles, a clear manifestation of His human and divine nature.

We see Jesus grieving for the death of his good friend Lazarus. We see the Son of Man weeping, just as we weep when we lose someone we love.

It is essential to contemplate Christ’s humanity. Jesus was a real human being! It is very impressive to see God made man grieving and weeping. Jesus fully entered into our humanity.

This becomes clearer when Jesus says on the cross: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

It is amazing that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. However, it is even more amazing that Jesus wept for Lazarus. Our God is close to us and feels what we feel. It would be completely different if Jesus had only raised Lazarus, without weeping. In Jesus’ perturbation, we see God grieving with us.

“Lazarus, come out!” Jesus’ powerful voice woke Lazarus from the dead. Jesus’ voice has the power to deliver us from the webs of death. With a word, he can change our lives. The embrace of his mercy releases us from the tombs that imprison us.

Jesus wants to give us his life: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Christ ardently desires to revitalize our lives. He seeks openness in our hearts because he wants bring his light to us.

The renewal of nature invites us to renewal in our own lives, through the grace of God’s merciful love. This occurs in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Have you scheduled your Lenten confession yet?

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