The Fifth Sunday of Lent: The Liturgy of the Word
Adjusting to this new rhythm of life is a challenge for us all. It is arduous to think about the unknown timeline before we are all able to return to our regular routines. The reality is setting in that, what we thought might be a few weeks long safeguard has become something that will likely last upwards of months. We are still committed as a Pastoral Team to stay connected with you in every way we can! That's why, in addition to our recorded Masses, we love to offer you familiar faces and voices from our parishes in The Liturgy of the Word.
The First Reading:
The Responsorial Psalm:
The Second Reading:
A Homily from Monsignor Lind for the Fifth Sunday of Lent
In the scriptures of the Sundays of Lent, Jesus describes himself as the “Light of the World”- as “Living Water”- as “The Way, The Truth and The Life”. Today’s gospel gives us his most significant pronouncement: “I am the Resurrection”.
Two weeks from today we will celebrate Easter, the most sacred feast in the Liturgy of the Church. That holiest of days commemorates Christ’s resurrection. As we approach that holy feast the scriptures present the theme of death and new life.
The first suggestion of life over death is in the first reading: “You will know I am the Lord when I open your graves and have you rise from them.” We find the same thought in the second reading from St. Paul: “He who raised Christ from the dead will bring your mortal bodies to life also.” Paul assured us that resurrection to a life of unending glory awaits those, who during their lifetime, were faithful to God.
There are other passages of scripture which describe the Lord Jesus raising the dead to new life. He gave back her son to the widow of Naim. He raised to life the daughter of Jairus, and in the gospel today we hear of the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
This miracle presents the opportunity for Jesus to teach that faith in Him means everlasting life. He raised Lazarus to life, not just because he was a friend, or because Martha and Mary were despondent at his loss. Nor was it only to show another sign of his great power. It was clearly to teach that there is life after death.
It’s not unusual for us to think- what will death be like? What happens when life ends?
The Easter event, for which these forty days of Lent prepare us, helps us to understand. Christ has to die before he could rise. For us to live, we must first die. To share in Christ’s glory we must first share in his death. We believe this in faith and that faith is strengthened by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The people of Christ’s time has only a vague idea of afterlife, but our faith assures us that physical death is not the end, but rather the beginning of eternal life. We may think about that life and be curious about it, but what is important is that Jesus made it clear that there will be life after death- that we will be glorified and live forever with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The happy expectation of this eternal future should never be far from our minds. It was surely on the ind of all the saints and martyrs and it gives hope to you and me.
Our belief in life after death depends upon our faith in Jesus Christ, and that faith should be stronger because of what we heard in the scriptures today. Jesus welcomed the occasion to perform this miracle of life over death, not because of Lazarus, but to confirm the faith of his followers then, and down through the ages- our faith too.
In the next two weeks the scriptures will emphasize suffering and death, and then Easter will burst forth with the good news of eternal life. The miracle of today’s gospel is a logical introduction to the events of Easter. It gives expression to the Lord’s words: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will never die.”
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
The Prayers of the Faithful
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Priest: As we draw near to the end of Lent, Jesus’ passion and death come to the forefront of our hearts. Thomas predicts in today’s Gospel that, we too, would need to ‘die with Him’. Gathering the many things we can no longer control, and relying entirely on the mercy of God our Father, we turn to Him as we pray:
Lector: For all God’s family, that like Lazarus’ burial cloths, we would be liberated from the bonds of sin and death. We pray to the Lord.
Lector: For all of us struggling with this new global, social reality: that by the power of the Holy Spirit, we might be constantly reminded that our every act can and should reveal the glory of God. We pray to the Lord.
Lector: For every individual human heart who is growing to know Jesus more fully, that we might know He loves us as deeply as He loved Lazarus, Martha and Martha. And that He weeps with us over this fallen world. We pray to the Lord.
Lector: For all those who are committed to eradicating this pandemic, from the individual who remains isolated for the safety of our public heath- to the doctors and nurses at the front lines of this crisis- may God bless their efforts. We pray to the Lord.
Lector: For our RCIA catechumen Stephanie and for our candidates, Brandi, Julie and Lindsay may God grant them the gift of His peace while they grieve the loss of the Easter Vigil celebration at this time. May they know the support of the St. John- St. Paul Collaborative while they persevere in the Faith. We pray to the Lord.
Lector: For those who have died, and in a particular way for those who have lost their lives to COVID-19: may God grant them eternal rest. We pray to the Lord.
Priest: Loving God, your Son teaches us that faith is the crucial ingredient for all miraculous gifts from You. Help our unbelief in this time of testing. May our doubts become the springboard to deeper trust; and may hope become the lens with which we always see. We make our prayers through Christ our Lord. Amen.