Fifth Sunday of Lent, April 2, to Tuesday, April 4
The story of the raising of Lazarus in the Gospel for April 2nd and the larger story of Jesus’ relationship with the family of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus brings me as close to his humanity as any part of the Christian scriptures. I feel that his passion and death are a manifestation of his divinity, just as much as his resurrection. On the cross he experiences the very worst pain that any human could inflict on another and still forgives his tormentors. To me, his ability to forgive is powerful evidence of his divinity—as much as his rising from the dead. But his love for this family, his comfort in sharing a meal with them in their home, his easy interactions with them in the day-to-day pleasures and frustrations of family life make me yearn for his friendship in a way that no other bible stories can match.
In this account in John 11, Jesus returns from relative safety across the Jordan River to be with the grieving family and to raise Lazarus from the dead, even though he and all his disciples know that coming back will mean his death. When he approaches Bethany he meets Martha and lovingly turns her grief and anger at him into one of the most magnificent acts of faith in the whole of scripture. When he encounters Mary, he responds to her grief with his own, asking to see the tomb and weeping.
According to the beginning of John 12, six days before his passion and death, before the pomp and circumstance of Palm Sunday and the more formal leave-taking of the Last Supper, Jesus stopped to share a last meal and say goodbye to this beloved family. If I could share one of these last meals with the Lord, I think I would choose this more intimate and bittersweet family farewell.
Readings for Fifth Sunday of Lent, April 2
- Reading 1, Ezekiel 37:12-14
- Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
- Reading 2, Romans 8:8-11
- Verse Before Gospel, John 11:25A, 26
- Gospel, John 11:1-45
- Click here to go to USCCB Readings for April 2.
Readings for Monday, April 3
- Reading 1, Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62
- Or, Daniel 13:41C-62
- Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
- Verse Before Gospel, Ezekiel 33:11
- Gospel, John 8:1-11
- Click here to go to USCCB Readings for April 3.
Readings for Tuesday, April 4
- Reading 1, Numbers 21:4-9
- Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21
- Verse Before Gospel, Luke 8:11
- Gospel, John 8:21-30
- Click here to go to USCCB Readings for April 4.