5th Sunday of Lent
It does not enter into the plan of God to do away with death. Like the man of Nain, the daughter of Jairus and like Lazarus in the Gospel for today, we will all come to the point when God will call us back. Whatever is alive must die. Observe the flowers—only plastic flowers never die. Surely, there will come a day when the Lord will say to each one of us:” come “. And the call for some will be sudden, for others it will be after an illness, in an accident or a visit of COVID 19. The fact is that we will not know when, where, and how. But the call will be there and it will be a surprise. And that makes even just the thought of death becomes more frightening.
But for us Christians, the where and the when should not be something to worry about. The more important thing is how are we preparing ourselves for the day. Woody Allen, the great comedian and film director once said: “I am not so much interested in how will I die; on when will I die. I am more interested in where will I die so that I will never get near that place.” We want to live forever; we find death an absurdity. We ask God defiantly, “If you created us to share in your happiness, why did you not create us to be immortal?” So, we avoid even just the thought of death.
But the thought of death somehow should give us a perspective in life—the thought of death should inspire us to de-program our lives; to bring about an inner change so that when it comes we will welcome and face it with serenity knowing that have lived a good life.
In these perilous times. (when we are not certain of what will happen to us and our families because of COVID 19), we are reminded very forcefully, almost against our will, that death is with us all the time. Precisely, it is during these trying times when our prayers should be more fervent and our faith much stronger. It is in such times that we should light our candles more earnestly and solemnly to quell the darkness that at present surrounds us. Somehow, our apprehensions and fears should open up more space for God who alone can give us comfort . . . who alone can heal us . . . who alone is in control.
Our God is a God WHO NEVER GIVES UP ON US. He is a God who is always with us . . . an ever-present Father in all our spiritual and physical distress. In any serious crisis like what we are facing now, LEARN TO HAVE ALL THINGS IN GOD AND GOD IN ALL THINGS.
In a little town in Bethany, Jesus was faced with the death of a good friend named Lazarus. All the family was there and Martha, one of Lazarus’ sisters, came up to Jesus searching for consolation in her grief. And what was the reply of Jesus? He said: “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me shall not die”.
Like the family of Lazarus, we are here today full of sorrow, looking for consolation and strength. And again we hear the words of Jesus echoing in our hearts: “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me shall not die.” Let us then be consoled by the words of Jesus, who overcame death so that we might have life.
Yes, like the man of Nain, the daughter of Jairus and like Lazarus, who all died but were raised back to life again by Jesus, we, too, even if we die, He can raise us up again. And “whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11 26-27), says the Lord.