Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent . . . March 26, 2023

by Marylou Garrett   Notre Dame Associate

On this Fifth Sunday of Lent God assures us that we are not forgotten when we find ourselves in desperate need. In the first reading God puts his spirit into his exiled people, restoring what was dead to life. He gives them a new purpose and hope when he promises to return them to their land.

The Responsorial Psalm reminds us that there is “mercy and fullness of redemption’” when we acknowledge our sinfulness and put our trust in the Lord.

In the Gospel it is Lazarus who has died, and his sister Martha asks Jesus for His help.  He tells her that everyone who believes in Him will live even if they have died because He is the resurrection and the life. Martha declares her belief in Him as God’s Messiah. When her sister Mary and those with her arrived weeping He is shaken and asks them where Lazarus has been laid. Then He too weeps.  A stone barring entrance to the cave where he’s buried is removed, and Jesus thanks His Father for hearing Him before calling loudly “Lazarus come out!”  When he emerged bound by burial bands and a cloth Jesus asks that he be untied and left free to go. Many Jews who had come with Mary to console her began to believe in Him because of what they’d seen Him do.

Jesus loves and weeps for us too! What are things in our life that keep us bound and buried? He longs to set us free from them and bring us peace. He will be buried on Good Friday and wants us to be raised with Him this Easter and eternally. Will we ask for His help so we can help free others?  Will we choose to put all our faith and trust in Him?