“Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”
John chapter 11, verse 40
John’s Gospel is a consolation, particularly for today as we confront the suffering, pain and death brought on by the current pandemic.
Like Martha and Mary, we may have our doubts—and our understandable fears. But our common faith in Christ provides the assurance that God is always with us, even as we pass through the valley of the shadow of death. Martha and Mary learned that lesson after Jesus brought their brother Lazarus back from the dead. We have the benefit of the Gospel and our personal faith experience that make God’s presence a tangible reality in our lives.
As we come into the final week of Lent, let’s focus on the opportunities we still have to change those parts of our lives that have left us less than alive. In faith we are called to new life. Things that hurt us can be overcome. It takes work as we well know. But being open to God’s grace—believing in new life —is the first step we need to take each and every day. Renewal and new life is what we will celebrate come Easter Sunday… the resurrection of Our Lord, his victory over death, and the promise of eternal life for you and me.
Friend, these are challenging times. But God is present even when we might not feel that presence. Take the time now to think of all the ways in the past that God has opened your heart and brought you back to life. That is the promise of Faith and the hope and joy of Easter. Stay strong because God’s final word is not death but life.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for 5th Sunday of Lent
Lord Jesus, You who are
the Resurrection and the Life,
wept at the tomb of Lazarus, Your friend.
Raising him from the dead
You did not withhold Your tears
at seeing the sorrow of others.
In times of great sadness, Lord,
may I offer my tears to You
for those I mourn as well as
for those who have no one
to mourn for them.
Merciful God, may I trust always
in Your grace and divine will
standing on Your promise that You
will never abandon me.
Prayer by Maryknoll Missioner, Father Joseph Veneroso