5th Sunday of Lent (Year A)

Theme: LENT IS A TIME WHEN WE PREPARE TO DIE AND RISE WITH JESUS CHRIST TO THE NEW LIFE OF EASTER IN THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM 

  • Ezekiel 37:12-14;
  • Psalm 129. R/ v. 7;
  • Romans 8:8-11
  • John 11:1-45 (Shorter Form, John 11:3-7. 17. 20-27. 33-45)

Today is the 5th Sunday of Lent; Liturgical Year A. Lent is a time when we prepare to celebrate Easter. Lent is a time when we prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and our death and resurrection with him in the sacrament of baptism!

Lent is therefore a time when our catechumens prepare for their baptism and when we who are baptised prepare for the renewal of our baptism on Easter Vigil Night!

Lent is therefore a time of repentance! Lent is therefore a time when we prepare to die and rise with Jesus Christ to the new life of Easter in the sacrament of baptism!

The gospel today tells us that Jesus is the resurrection and the life and that anyone who believes in him even though he dies he will live! And that whoever lives and believes in him will never die!

More importantly, the gospel tells us that Martha believed in Jesus! Martha believed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into the world!

Most importantly, the gospel tells us that because Martha believed in Jesus, Jesus raised his brother Lazarus from the dead! Thus we read in the gospel:

“Jesus said: ‘I am the resurrection and the life. If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’

‘Yes Lord,’ Martha said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’ ….

Jesus cried in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, here! Come out!’ The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let him go free.’” (Jn 11:25-27. 43-44; SM)   

 

The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the Lord will open our graves and raise us from our graves and the Lord will put his spirit in us and we will live! Thus we read in the first reading:

“And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live. ….” (Ezk 37: 13-14a; SM)

 

The second reading tells us that if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in us, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to our mortal bodies through his Spirit living in us! Thus we read in the second reading:

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.” (Rm 8:11; SM)

 

In front of this Good News we can only respond with the psalmist in today’s responsorial psalm. Thus the response:

“With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.” (Ps 129:7; SM)

Indeed, the Lord is love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation!

 

During this time of Lent, the Church asks us to pray, to fast, and to give alms to the poor; not as a punishment for our sins, but to help us to repent! To help us die and rise with Jesus Christ to the new life of Easter in the sacrament of Baptism! A blessed Lent to all of you! Amen!

 

28th June 2015 – 13TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Theme: THE LORD SAVES US FROM SIN AND DEATH 

  • Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24;
  • Psalm 29 (30): 2. 4-6. 11-13. R/ v. 2;
  • 2 Corinthians 8:7. 9. 13-15.
  • Mark 5: 21-24. 35-43. (Shorter Form)

Today we celebrate the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that the Lord saves us from sin and death! 

The first reading tells us that God created us in his own image to live an eternal life of love and happiness! But it was the devils envy that brought sin and death into the world!

Sin is not only breaking the law, or doing something bad, or doing something wrong, or doing something immoral or unethical; but sin is death! Thus Paul writes:

“For the wage paid by sin is death.” (Rm 6:23; NJB)

Thus we read in the first reading:

“Yet God did make man imperishable, he made him in the image of his own nature; it was the devil’s envy that brought death into the world, as those who are his partners will discover.” (Ws 2: 23-24; SM)

 

But more importantly, the gospel today tells us that the Lord raises us from the dead! The gospel today tells us that the Lord raised the dead daughter of Jairus the synagogue official from the dead!

More importantly, the raising of Jairus daughter to life points to the death and resurrection of the Lord himself, and most importantly, to our own death and resurrection with the Lord in Baptism!

And most importantly, again, the new life of the resurrection is even better than the old life before sin! Thus we sing in the Easter Proclamation on Easter Vigil Night:

“O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer”! (SM)

Paul tells us that where sin increased, grace increased all the more! (Rm 5:20) The grace of Jesus Christ far outweighed our sins! The grace of Jesus Christ more than compensated for our sins! So much so that the new life of the resurrection is even better than the old life before sin! Again, the Easter Proclamation in the New Translation of The Roman Missal:

“O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!”

 

The responsorial psalm is a thanksgiving for salvation! (CSB) Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:

“I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me.” (Ps 29 (30): 2; SM)

The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza thanks God for salvation! (vv. 2 & 4; SM) The second stanza invites the whole community to thank God. (vv. 5-6; SM) The third stanza again thanks God for salvation! (vv. 11-13; SM)

 

The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but again, the second reading has something important to tell us! In the second reading Paul tells the Gentile Corinthian church to make a collection for the Jewish Jerusalem church. The collection is not only to help the mother church in Jerusalem economically, but the collection is also an expression of the unity of the church!

 

 

Today in this Mass, we thank God for creating us in his own image to live, to love and to be happy; more importantly, we also thank God for saving us from sin and death in his Son Jesus Christ; and most importantly, we ask God to continue to sanctify us in the Holy Spirit! We also ask God to continue to help us help the poor and the needy! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you!