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5th Sunday of Lent

April 2, 2017

RAISING MEANING

Let me begin by placing this story in its context:  John places the raising of Lazerus just before Jesus enters Jerusalem.  It is the last great event before Jesus begins his final journey to the cross.  Not even Jesus could escape suffering . .  . nor can we.

You have heard me say it many times before:  there is no resurrection without a crucifixion.  The lesson of Jesus and Lazarus is that death DOES come.   Suffering cannot be avoided.  It is part of humanity.  God does not prevent it; rather God is there with us. . . until we are ready to truly live.

And God is there with us, which is the second great lesson of our story.  In our Gospel today, we hear the infamous shortest line of the Bible:  Jesus wept.  No elaboration is necessary.  Nothing more needs to be said.  Jesus felt the pain of his dear friends Mary and Martha.  He felt their suffering.  In two simple words, we learn that God is not absent from our sorrows, difficulties and loss.  Though it may seem God is far away, God enters into our most difficult moments and FEELS – right there with us.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the 5th Sunday in Lent (Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45)

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