Reflection for Fifth Sunday of Lent

Father John Huber, CSB, second councillor, offers his Basilian confrères a message of hope during these uncertain times in this reflection for the fifth Sunday of Lent:

When I was a child, a kind lady down the street used to gather the neighborhood children into her family home once a week to participate in the “Joy Club”, “Joy” standing for “Jesus, then Others, then You”. It was her way of sharing the Gospel with young people. One of the Bible verses my brothers and I memorized during these meetings is contained in this Sunday’s Gospel:

“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”

We recall the story of Martha and Mary, and the death and rising of Lazarus. Particularly touching in the narrative is the fact that Jesus became emotional, and others witnessed him becoming “perturbed” as he wept for his good friend.

During these uncertain times, we are sure of two truths we have learned from this Sunday’s Gospel. Jesus weeps with those in mourning, with those who suffer from the Coronavirus, with the overworked yet dedicated health care workers, and with those who are filled with anxiety. He likewise reminds us that through Him we experience both life and the promise of the Resurrection.

Those involved in education and who are struggling to offer as much of the Basilian educational experience to students in their homes as possible, have the hand of Jesus on their shoulder. Our older confrères in retirement and care facilities who miss the visits of their loved ones are being embraced by the Redeemer. All of those who are deprived of Holy Mass are not distanced from the grace that comes from the Body and Blood of Christ. Those used to celebrating the Eucharist for the faithful in public continue to celebrate mass for the intentions of the faithful in private, and sometimes even use technology so that the faithful can watch from afar. He is not far, He has not distanced Himself from us, even while we must distance ourselves from one another.

After Jesus had called Lazarus from the tomb, he said, “untie him and let him go.” During this time of Lent 2020, when our lives have dramatically changed more than ever, we remain people of hope, waiting to someday soon hear similar words, “untie them and let them go.” During these Lenten days and days of confinement, we rejoice as we find Him in our midst: among our confrères, among the health care workers caring for our aged brothers, among those dedicated to our care, and among those with whom we communicate from afar. Indeed He is the resurrection and the life!

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