4/2/2017 12:05 AM
As we gather for the Fifth Sunday in Lent, the tone and tenor of the Church’s liturgical life takes a change. In the past, this was the weekend where statues in church buildings would be covered through until the Easter Vigil, the musical selections are more somber, and the readings start to take a much more direct look towards the upcoming Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord.
Soon, we will be in the midst of Holy Week, commemorating and re-entering into these events which brought about our salvation and our restoration to be sons and daughters of God. These are the most important days of the Church’s liturgical life; these are the most important days of our own spiritual life, as well. Because when Christ rose from the dead, when He walked among His disciples, ate with them, talked with them, all prior to His Ascension back into heaven; He showed that he truly was risen from the dead! But whereas Lazarus, in today’s Gospel power, was raised by another acting towards him; in Jesus’s Resurrection, He acts upon Himself!
This is a key difference between what we read about today and what we will celebrate in two weeks: Lazarus, unfortunately, will pass away again. He has been restored to the same exact life that he had prior to his death and burial. Jesus, on the other hand, will never die again. He has been raised to a new, glorified, body. A physical body that no longer has the limits of the physical world: he can appear and disappear at will. He can walk through locked doors. He can modify his appearance so that even His closest friends do not recognize Him.
But, because of God’s great respect for you, He will never impose His will upon you. Yet, His desire for you is to come to a deeper and greater freedom in His Son. After all, this is why Jesus came! He came to earth to undo the fault of Adam so that we could again enjoy the freedom of being a child of God.
In order to achieve this freedom, we have to constantly re-enter into the very mystery of our redemption by Jesus Christ. We certainly do this every week as we come to Mass to receive Him. But as we enter into Holy Week and Passiontide, we take a particular focus on how this redemption was accomplished, so that we can appreciate this gift all the more.
Take advantage of the great mysteries that we celebrate over these next few weeks. Join us for the celebration of the Sacred Triduum on the evenings of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. Allow God to speak to you anew over these days!
Fr. Kyle Schnippel
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