HOMILY FOR THE 5TH SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR A.
THEME: RESURRECTION AND LIFE.
BY: Rev Fr Stephen ‘Dayo Osinkoya.
Today, the fifth Sunday of lent is the last Sunday of this season before the holy week. The central message of today’s liturgy is Resurrection and Life. The gospel places us at the doorway of a closed tomb. But we aren’t just at the entrance of the tomb as spectators. In so many ways, we are as individuals the person in the tomb. We are Lazarus. And Lazarus is us.
As much as this gospel is about death, it is also about life. And it is about a second life. It is a story of second chances. The story of the rising of Lazarus points towards Jesus as the Lord of Life and prepares us for the celebration of our sharing in His Life at Easter. But this Gospel is more than this. It is a call for us to consider if we are in a tomb, and if so, it asks us to hear the voice of the Lord calling us to come out of the tomb.
Tombs are places for the dead, not for the living. They are not pleasant. They are dark, stinky and rather scary. They are not places we want to be. But we still often put ourselves in tombs. Whether we realize it or not – we are Lazarus. We are trapped in a tomb – tomb of our sinfulness, hidden in the dark and the decay and the stench, wrapped up in our own brokenness, our own sinfulness. And we could be there forever.
But in the midst of that, Jesus weeps. He weeps for us – because he loves us, and he is at the brink of losing us. He wants to bring us back from the tomb of sin which hold us captive and dead. He wants to bring us back to the land of the living, where we belong. He calls out to us. Come out, Lazarus!” He is calling us to come out of the darkness, and come into His Light. He is calling us to come out of the place of death and come into His Life. In his second book on Jesus, Pope Benedict XVI points out that the early Christians referred to themselves as The Living. That is what we are called to be; to be alive in an otherwise dead world.
But the question is, do we hear him?
Leaving our tombs at this time requires us to seek for God’s help (assistance) at all times; like Mary and Martha sent for Jesus to attend to their ailing brother. Whom or what do we turn to when we have similar challenges? Many of us run even deeper into tombs of sin looking for help where there is no assurance of life.
Leaving our tombs at this time is a call to unfailing faith and trust: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.” Said Martha. Raising the Lazarus in us also requires our being ready and willing to remove the stone that is blocking us from having a direct encounter with the Lord who has come to save us. It is worthy to note that if the stone was not removed Lazarus would not have come out. The stone stands for sin and obstacles to our faith, healing and renewal.
Now is the time for us to answer that call. Now is the time to leave behind the stench, and the dark. Now is the time to leave the dwelling place of the dead. Even when we think we are too far gone, that there is no going back…there is. We can leave the tomb. It is time to begin again – to get a second chance, like Lazarus.
Now is time to be reconciled with God.
If you haven’t been to confession in a while— now is the time to go.
FOR MORE HOMILIES CLICK >>>>>>