The Fifth Sunday of Lent - A Reflection by Deacon Terry

Deacon Terry has shared with us a reflection on yesterday's readings. The readings can be found at www.usccb.org.

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The theme for the readings for the 5th Sunday in Lent speak of new life and new beginnings. A very appropriate subject in the current throes of isolation and quarantine.

Ezekiel is the first prophet of the Babylonian exile. In the first reading he delivers God’s promise of new life to a people who have lost everything, a promise to raise the people to new life with new fleshy hearts, a physical and spiritual revival.

In John’s Gospel the raising of Lazarus is a precursor to the resurrection of Christ. (Lazarus’ raising is not a resurrection as his body is unchanged. Resurrection presumes a qualitative change.)

We are all living in self imposed isolation now to impede and eventually stop the spread of the covid19 virus. This isolation can be not unlike a tomb, dark, alone, separated from the world and life.

I’ve never missed the gathering of the local community to celebrate the liturgy of the Mass so much. Watching the Mass on the internet is not the same, especially for me who doesn’t do technology all that well and doesn’t participate on social media for a number of reasons.

Our time of isolation will come to an end one day. Having endured this time of separation will renew our spirits and lead us to appreciate all the more the gift of the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist. Easter, even if we have to postpone it, will be a special celebration this year because of our condition of isolation and longing to be released from this corona virus tomb as Lazarus was released from his.

The message of these readings is that God will renew us and restore us to life. The “tomb” of our isolation and fear will become a “womb” of new life, physical and spiritual, in Christ. I can’t wait for Easter!

God Bless,

Deacon Terry

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