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HOMILY FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR A
Theme: God is life
HOMILY: “God is life” and He is the giver of life to us men and women. We are alive only when we are connected to God. As we continue in this journey of faith, this Lenten Season, I pray for your firm connection and reconnection to God through the one God-man, the only True Saviour of the world; Amen.
Every form of life is a gift from God and the readings of today remind us of this very fact. The First Reading from the book of the Prophet Ezekiel (37:12-14) is the prophetic message from God to us, a message of hope and restoration, “I am now going to open your graves… you will live.” It is God who gives us life and it is He who sustains this life in us and it is only He who can give us the fullness of this life, it is only He who can open our graves, but never without our corporation. Opening our graves means leading us out of and away from every form of limitation that forms an obstacle from our full communion with and in God.
This gift comes to us in two forms, firstly the natural life which God gives to us by the coming together of our biological parents and secondly the Supernatural Life which God gives to us by our corporation with His grace. One of the differences is that why the natural life which is God’s first gift to us is given to us without any effort from us, the second is given to us by our response to God’s invitation through the graces which He alone gives to us. Saint Paul in the Second Reading (Romans 8:8-11) reminds us that “people who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God.” A good life is a life lived in such a way that the choices and aspirations of our natural life correspond to the demands of the Supernatural Life.
The most sure and certain secret of obtaining this life is friendship with God and Since we are human beings, and can only receive from God in our state and mode of existence as humans, friendship with the God-man Jesus is the key to this life. This is the unique qualification of Lazarus in the Gospel Reading (John 11:1-45) of today, “our friend Lazarus is resting, I am going to wake him.” Jesus said “our friend” because all those who are in friendship with the God-man (and through Him are friends with the Triune God) are also friends to one another through their choice and response to one and the same Friend. But first before this, Mary and Martha said “Lord, the man you love is ill” demonstrating the personal relationship and affection that must exist between us and God as an indispensable prerequisite for us to gain this life which He gives.
The visit of Jesus comes with life and the presence of Life signifies the absence of death and every barrier to life. The Easter joy we look forward to is a real manifestation of the presence of this Life around us. Ability to develop a lasting relationship and friendship with God is a concrete sign of spiritual growth and maturity. This friendship is what makes us disposed to have God in and around us always like Mary, Martha and Lazarus and this friendship also is what makes God attracted to us.
May God give us the grace to build strong and firm friendship with Him and may our friendship with Him, like that of Lazarus, attract Him to us always with His gift of Life; Amen. Happy Sunday;
By: Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE