OMELIE / Omelie EN

26 mar 2023
26/03/2023 - 5th Sunday of Lent -year A

26/03/2023 - 5th Sunday of Lent -year A

Reading 1 EZ 37,12-14 Psalm 129 Reading 2 RM 8,8-11 Gospel JN 11,1-45

During the Sundays of Lent the Church prepares Catechumens for Baptism and helps those who are already baptised to deepen its grace and the knowledge of it.

Today’s Word continues and ends this journey, leaving us dumbfounded. In the previous Sundays Jesus has been introduced to us as the one who, by winning against temptations, lives as the Son of God, as the one who is pleasing to the Father because of the offering of His life, as the one who gives men the water which quenches all their deepest needs, as the one who, for men’s eyes, is the light giving them true freedom. Today we assist to a shaking event: Jesus reveals Himself as the one who allows men, despite being plagued by sickness, fear and even death, to live.

With an extract from the prophet Ezekiel the liturgy is preparing us to listen to the word Jesus utters in front of Lazarus’s tomb. Ezekiel announces: «I will open your graves and have you rise from them»: certainly this Word is meant to be read in a prophetic and spiritual way, but today Jesus, calling back Lazarus from the dead, is letting us see that the Word needs to be taken seriously and makes happen exactly what it implies. To allow us understand what rising us means, he says: «I will put my spirit in you that you may live». Resurrection will consist in welcoming the Holy Spirit of God who lets us live eternal life, the life of the Father and His beloved Son.

Many men live immersed in worldly things, run around and tire with their mind and heart weighted down by everything which burdens men and prevents them from being open to talk, to be in communion, to a joyful relationship with others and God Himself. Jesus really instructs to open the tomb and remove the bandages of the body. The latter is infused again with life, and his sisters understand that Jesus is truly «the Son of God», is truly «the resurrection and the life».

Jesus’s disciples themselves, who were dreading the thought of having to accompany Him to Jerusalem, where they were looking for Him to send to death, are unsure. Never they would have thought His voice could be heard by a dead man, that His Word could bring back to life someone who is buried and closed in by a heavy stone.

The disciples and the friends of Jesus have been prepared in this way to believe in His resurrection, different from Lazarus’s. They have been also prepared to cultivate the hope that Jesus’s Word, repeated by them, will be able to share with the Jews and the Pagans, unable of communion and unable to believe, the life they have received themselves from the Lord and Master.

We will learn from Martha how to express our faith in Jesus. Maybe hers was not yet complete, not yet steadfast, not yet sufficiently enlightened, but we will say it with certainty and love: «Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world». Martha did not know exactly what she was saying. She was telling truths, even if she did not grasp their full meaning. Just like we, most of the times, understand only some parts of the sentences with which we show our faith. We say them anyway, certain that the Holy Spirit will enlighten us, and it will make understanding follow the words, and anyway will enrich us with the fruit coming from those words.

And then, we too, looking at Lazarus coming out of the tomb, entertain the hope that many people as well, those who we are now considering lost, excluded forever from the communion with the Lord Jesus and the salvation, will be able to open themselves to the faith in Him. It will be enough for someone to enunciate sternly the Word in front of their tomb, for someone to have the faith and the courage to make the Gospel clear to their ears!

Why should not be allowed to happen again what Saint Paul referred to, that «the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you»? In fact «if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness».

We have this faith, and we welcome in ourselves first the Word which saves and gives life: we will be ready to share it with many others.

In primo piano