April 5, 2014

5th Sunday of Lent - A


Lazarus and Jesus

When Jesus arrives at Lazarus’ tomb, the stone still covers it.   And it is Jesus who orders it to be taken away.

And Lazarus is still in there.  He comes out only when Jesus calls him.   His “hands and feet [are tied] with burial bands, and his face [is] wrapped in a cloth.”  He still needs others’ help to “be freed from the trappings of death to go his way.” [1]

On the day of Jesus’ Resurrection, when Mary of Magdala comes to Jesus’ tomb, the stone has been removed (John 20:1).

Later, when Peter arrives, he finds the tomb empty.  Jesus is no longer there.  Inside the tomb, Peter finds the different burial cloths folded separately (20:6-7).  These “trappings of death” can no longer hold Jesus. 

While Lazarus is restored to life, it will be temporary.  He will die again.

Jesus will never die again.  He has conquered death for ever. 

And the life he gives us is everlasting. 

As we near the end of our Lenten journey, what remnants of sin and death do I still hang on to?  And what remnants of sin and death do I still allow to tie me down?  With Jesus’ power, I can conquer them all, and rise with Him to new life.

[1] Francis J. Moloney.  The Gospel of John.  Sacra Pagina Series.  Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1998; p. 333.

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