FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A
26th March 2023
Ezekiel 37:12-14; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45.
In today’s liturgy, God promises restoration through the opening of the graves of our hearts. Graves represent aspects of our lives that we would prefer to remain hidden forever. They are the shame, fears and worries we harbour in our hearts. We are unable to help ourselves and unwilling to seek for help. These graves will be opened by God in order to restore and set us free.
The second reading identified sin as the root cause of our graves. Sin is the reason we have shame, fear and anxiety. The grave of sin will be opened and we shall be raise from the limitations it imposes on us. In the first reading, God promises to open and raise us from our graves and put his Holy Spirit in us. We will find life through the Holy Spirit, because the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead will reign in our lives.
The gospel gives us the confidence to open up to Jesus through the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days but Jesus did not mind the decomposing body. He requested that the grave be opened and raised Lazarus from death to life. Our sins smell because we are unwilling to open up to help. We are comfortable holding on to something that is toxic to our spiritual life. Jesus does not mind the stench, the repercussion, and the estrangement due to our sins. He does not listen to gossips and prejudices against us. Jesus will restore and establish us on a new path to life. As in the case of Lazarus, he will unbind us and set us free.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.