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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings,04-06-14, Fifth Sunday of Lent
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 04-06-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 04/05/2014 8:15:29 PM PDT by Salvation

April 6, 2014

Fifth Sunday of Lent

 

Reading 1 Ez 37:12-14

Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

R/ (7) With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the LORD.
R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

reading 2 Rom 8:8-11

Brothers and sisters:
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit dwelling in you.

Gospel Jn 11:1-45

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.
So the sisters sent word to him saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
Jesus answered,
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.”
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
“Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“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.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

When she had said this,
she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
“The teacher is here and is asking for you.”
As soon as she heard this,
she rose quickly and went to him.
For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
but was still where Martha had met him.
So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
they followed her,
presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

or Jn 11:3-7, 20-27, 33b-45

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“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.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; lent; prayer
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1 posted on 04/05/2014 8:15:30 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
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2 posted on 04/05/2014 8:16:20 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Ezekiel 37:12-14

The dry bones


[12] [”]Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold,
I will open their graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people; and I will
bring you home into the land of Israel. [13] And you shall know that I am the Lord,
when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. [14] And
I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own
land; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and I have done it, says
the Lord.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

This remarkable vision of the bones being brought back to life sets the scene for
the climax of the resurgence of Israel, the unification of the two kingdoms (cf. 37:
15-28). The dramatic contrast drawn here between death and life, bones and spi-
rit, shows that the revitalization that God will bring about goes much further than
material reconstruction or simply a return to the promised land; it implies, rather,
a new beginning, both personal and social.

The vision itself (vv. 2-10) takes place on an immense plain (cf. 3:22-23) and it
addresses the exiles’ profound concern about their future: “Our bones are dried
up, and our hope is lost” (v. 11). It is one of Ezekiel’s most famous and most
commented-on visions because it is very vivid and easy to understand. The pro-
phet himself explains it as having to do with the destruction-restoration of Israel
(vv. 11-14), though the Fathers of the Church see in it veiled references to the re-
surrection of the dead: “The Creator will revive our mortal bodies here on earth;
he promises resurrection, the opening of sepulchers and tombs, and the gift of
immortality […]. And in all this, we see that he alone is God, who can do all
things, the good Father who from his endless bounty will give life to the lifeless”
(St Irenaeus, “Adversus haereses”, 5, 15, 1). St Jerome writes in similar terms:
“The image of the resurrection would not have been used to describe the resto-
ration of the people of Israel if the future resurrection of the dead had not been
foreseen, because no one can be led to draw a conclusion from an idea that
has no basis is reality” (”Commentarii in Ezechielem”, 27, 1ff).

“I will put my Spirit within you” (v. 14). The spirit of the Lord is, at least, the po-
wer of God (cf. Gen 2:7) performing an act of creation. It is also the principle of
life causing man to “become a living being” (Gen 2:7); and, certainly, it is the
principle of supernatural life. The same God that created all things can revitalize
his demoralized people in Babylon and can allow humankind to partake of his
own life. This promise, like others found in the prophets (cf. 11:19; Jer 31:31-34;
Joel 3:1-5) will find its complete fulfillment at Pentecost, when the Spirit de-
scends on the apostles: “According to these promises, at the ‘end time’ the
Lord’s Spirit will renew the hearts of men, engraving a new law in them. He will
gather and reconcile the scattered and divided peoples; he will transform the
first creation, and God will dwell there with men in peace” (”Catechism of the
Catholic Church”, 715).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 04/05/2014 8:21:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Life in the Spirit


[8] And those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

[9] But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God really
dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong
to him. [10] But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of
sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. [11] “If the Spirit of him who
raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the
dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit who dwells in you.”
[12] So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the
flesh—[13] for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you
put to death the deeds of the body you will live.

Christians Are Children of God


[14] For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. [15] For you did not
receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit
of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” [16] it is the Spirit himself bearing wit-
ness with our spirit that we are children of God, [17] and if children, then heirs,
heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that
we may also be glorified with him.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-13. After original sin man is pulled in two different directions: either he seeks
God above all things and contends, with God’s grace, against the inclinations
of his own concupiscence; or else he lets himself be overwhelmed by the disor-
dered passions of the flesh. The former lifestyle is “life in the Spirit”, the latter,
life “according to the flesh”. “There are only two possible ways of living on this
earth: either we live a supernatural life, or we live an animal life” (St. J. Escriva,
“Friends of God”, 200).

Sanctifying grace is the source of life “according to the Spirit”. It is not a matter
of simply being in the state of grace or of performing a number of regular pious
practices. Life according to the Spirit—spiritual or supernatural life—means a
living-according-to-God which influences everything a Christian does: he is cons-
tantly trying to bring his thoughts, yearnings, desires and actions into line with
what God is asking of him; in everything he does he tries to follow the inspira-
tions of the Holy Spirit.

Life according to the flesh, on the other hand, has its source in the triple concu-
piscence which is a consequence of original sin—”all that is in the world, the lust
of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (1 Jn 2:16). In this pre-
sent life it is not possible to kill concupiscence at its root: it is forever producing
new growths. The Christian is freed from original sin through Baptism (chap. 6);
the coming of Christ has set aside the ritualistic precepts of the Mosaic Law
(chap. 7); but his life in Jesus Christ is threatened by concupiscence even after
Baptism, which places him under the Law of the Spirit. “We need to submit to
the spirit, to wholeheartedly commit ourselves and strive to keep the flesh in its
place. By so doing our flesh will become spiritual again. Otherwise, if we give in
to the easy life, this will lower our soul to the level of the flesh and make it car-
nal again” (St John Chrysostom, “Hom. on Rom”, 13).

10-11. Once he is justified the Christian lives in the grace of God and confidently
hopes in his future resurrection; Christ Himself lives in him (cf. Galatians 2:20;
1 Corinthians 15:20-23). However, he is not spared the experience of death, a
consequence of Original Sin (cf. Romans 5:12; 6:23). Along with suffering, con-
cupiscence and other limitations, death is still a factor after Baptism; it is some-
thing which motivates us to struggle and makes us to be like Christ. Almost all
commentators interpret the expression “your bodies are dead because of sin” as
referring to the fact that, due to sin, the human body is destined to die. So sure
is this prospect of death that the Apostle sees the body as “already dead”.

St. John Chrysostom makes an acute observation: if Christ is living in the Chris-
tian, then the divine Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, is also present in him.
If this divine Spirit is absent, then indeed death reigns supreme, and with it the
wrath of God, rejection of His laws, separation from Christ, and expulsion of our
Guest. And he adds: “But when one has the Spirit within, what can be lacking?
With the Spirit one belongs to Christ, one possesses Him, one vies for honor
with the angels. With the Spirit, the flesh is crucified, one tastes the delight of
an immortal life, one has a pledge of future resurrection and advances rapidly on
the path of virtue. This is what Paul calls putting the flesh to death” (”Hom. on
Rom.”, 13).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 04/05/2014 8:22:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 11:1-45

The Raising of Lazarus


[1] Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her
sister Martha. [2] It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped
his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. [3] So the sisters sent to
him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” [4] But when Jesus heard it he
said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son
of God may be glorified means of it.”

[5] Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. [6] So when he heard
that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. [7] Then
after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.” [8] The disciples
said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you
going there again?” [9] Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day?
If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of
this world. [10] But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light
is not in him.” “Thus he spoke, and the he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has
fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.” [12] The disciples said to him
“Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” [13] Now Jesus had spoken of his
death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. [14] Then Jesus told
them plainly, “Lazarus is dead; [15] and for your sake I am glad that I was not
there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” [16] Thomas, called the
Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.

[17] Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb
four days. [18] Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, [19] and many
of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their bro-
ther. [20] When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him,
while Mary sat in the house. [21] Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been
here, my brother would not have died. [22] And even now I know that whatever
you ask from God, God will give you.” [23] Jesus said to her, “Your brother will
rise again.” [24] Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resur-
rection at the last day.” [25] Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the
life, he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, [26] and whoever
lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” [27] She said to
him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the son of God, he who is co-
ming into the world.”

[28] When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly,
“The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” [29] And when she heard it, she rose
quickly and went to him. [30] Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was
still in the place where Martha had met him. [31] When the Jews who were with
her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed
her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. [32] Then Mary,
when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him,
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” [33] When Jesus
saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply
moved in spirit and troubled; [34] and he said, “Where have you laid him?” They
said to him, “Lord, come and see.” [35] Jesus wept. [36] So the Jews said, “See
how he loved him!” [37] But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the
eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

[38] Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a
stone lay upon it. [39] Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of
the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has
been dead four days.” [40] Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would
believe you would see the glory of God?” [41] So they took away the stone. And
Jesus lifted his eyes and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
[42] I knew thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people
standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me.” [43] When he had
said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” [44] The dead man
came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with
a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

The Sanhedrin Decides on the Death of Jesus


[45] Many of Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did,
believed in him.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-45. This chapter deals with one of Jesus’ most outstanding miracles. The
Fourth Gospel, by including it, demonstrates Jesus’ power over death, which the
Synoptic Gospels showed by reporting the raising of the daughter of Jairus (Mt
9:25 and par.) and of the son of the widow of Nain (Lk 7:12).

The evangelist first sets the scene (vv. 1-16); then he gives Jesus conversation
with Lazarus’ sisters (vv. 17-37); finally, he reports the raising of Lazarus four
days after his death (vv. 38-45). Bethany was only about three kilometers (two
miles) from Jerusalem (v. 18). On the days prior to his passion, Jesus often visi-
ted this family, to which he was very attached. St John records Jesus’ affection
(vv. 3,5,36) by describing his emotion and sorrow at the death of his friend.

By raising Lazarus our Lord shows his divine power over death and thereby gives
proof of his divinity, in order to confirm his disciples’ faith and reveal himself as
the Resurrection and the Life. Most Jews, but not the Sadducees, believed in the
resurrection of the body. Martha believed in it (cf. v. 24).

Apart from being a real, historical event, Lazarus’ return to life is a sign of our fu-
ture resurrection: we too will return to life. Christ, by his glorious resurrection
through which he is the “first-born from the dead” (1 Cor 15:2; Col 1:18; Rev 1:5),
is also the cause and model of our resurrection. In this his resurrection is diffe-
rent from that of Lazarus, for “Christ being raised from the dead will never die
again” (Rom 6:9), whereas Lazarus returned to earthly life, later to die again.

2. There are a number of women in the Gospels who are called Mary. The Mary
here is Mary of Bethany, the sister of Lazarus (v.2), the woman who later anoin-
ted our Lord, again in Bethany, at the house of Simon the leper (cf. Jn 12:1-8; Mk
14:3): the indefinite or aorist “(she) anointed” expresses an action which occurred
prior to the time of writing, but the anointing took place after the resurrection of
Lazarus.

Were Mary of Bethany, Mary Magdalene and the “sinful” woman who anointed
Jesus’ feet in Galilee (cf. Lk 7:37) one, two or three women? Although some-
times it is argued they are one and the same, it seems more likely that they
were all different people. Firstly, we must distinguish the Galilee anointing (Lk
7:38) by the “sinner” from the Bethany anointing done by Lazarus’ sister (Jn
12:1): because of the time they took place and particular details reported, they
are clearly distinct (cf. note on Jn 12:1). Besides, the Gospels give us no posi-
tive indication that Mary of Bethany was the same person as the “sinner” of
Galilee. Nor are there strong grounds for identifying Mary Magdalene and the
“sinner”, whose name is not given; Mary Magdalene appears among the women
who follow Jesus in Galilee as the woman out of whom seven demons were cast
(cf. Lk 8:2), and Luke presents her in his account as someone new: no informa-
tion is given which could link her with either of the two other women.

Nor can Mary of Bethany and Mary Magdalene be identified, for John differentiates
between the two: he never calls Lazarus’ sister Mary Magdalene, nor does he in
any way link the latter (who stays beside the Cross—Jn 19:25—and who goes to
the tomb and sees the risen Lord) with Mary of Bethany.

The reason why Mary of Bethany has sometimes been confused with Mary Mag-
dalene is due (1) to identification of the latter with the “sinner” of Galilee through
connecting Magdalene’s possession by the devil with the sinfulness of the woman
who did the anointing in Galilee; and (2) to confusing the two anointings, which
would make Lazarus’ sister the “sinner” who does the first anointing. This was
how the three women were made out to be one, but there are no grounds for that
interpretation. The best-grounded and most common interpretation offered by
exegetes is that they are three distinct women.

4. The glory which Christ speaks of here, St Augustine says, “was no gain to
Jesus; it was only for our good. Therefore, Jesus says that this illness is not un-
to death, because the particular death was not for death but rather for a miracle,
which being wrought men should believe in Christ and thereby avoid the true
death” (”In Ioann. Evang.”, 49, 6).

8-10. Stoning was the form of capital punishment applying to blasphemy (cf. Lev
24:16). We have seen that people tried to stone Jesus at least twice: first, when
he proclaimed that he was the Son of God and that he existed from eternity (by
saying that he “was” before Abraham lived)—Jn 8:58-59; second, when he
revealed that he and the Father were one (cf. Jn 10:30-31).

These attempts by the Jewish authorities failed because Jesus’ ‘hour’ had not
yet arrived—that is, the time laid down by his Father for his death and resurrection.
When the Crucifixion comes, it will be the hour of his enemies and of “the power
of darkness” (Lk 22:53). But until that moment it is daytime, and our Lord can
walk without his life being in danger.

16. Thomas’ words remind us of the Apostles saying at the last Supper that they
would be ready to die for their Master (cf. Mt 26:31-35). We have seen how the
Apostles stayed loyal when many disciples left our Lord after his discourse on
the Bread of Life (Jn 6:67-71), and how they remained faithful to him despite their
personal weaknesses. But when, after Judas Iscariot’ s betrayal, Jesus lets him-
self be arrested without offering resistance—in fact, forbidding the use of weapons
(cf. Jn 18:11)—they become disconcerted and run away. Only St John will stay
faithful in Jesus’ hour of greatest need.

18. Fifteen stadia, in Greek measurement: three kilometers (two miles).

21-22. According to St Augustine, Martha’s request is a good example of confi-
dent prayer, a prayer of abandonment into the hands of God, who knows better
than we what we need. Therefore, “she did not say, But now I ask you to raise
my brother to life again. [...] All she said was, I know that you can do it; if you
will, do it; it is for you to judge whether to do it, not for me to presume” (”In Ioann.
Evang.”, 49, 13). The same can be said of Mary’s words, which St John repeats
at v. 32.

24-26. Here we have one of those concise definitions Christ gives himself, and
which St John faithfully passes on to us (cf. Jn 10:9; 14:6; 15:1): Jesus is the
Resurrection and the Life. He is the Resurrection because by his victory over
death he is the cause of the resurrection of all men. The miracle he works in
raising Lazarus is a sign of Christ’s power to give life to people. And so, by faith
in Jesus Christ, who arose first from among the dead, the Christian is sure that
he too will rise one day, like Christ (cf. 1 Cor 15:23; Col 1:18). Therefore, for the
believer death is not the end; it is simply the step to eternal life, a change of
dwelling-place, as one of the Roman Missal’s Prefaces of Christian Death puts
it: “Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our
earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven”.

By saying that he is Life, Jesus is referring not only to that life which begins
beyond the gave, but also to the supernatural life which grace brings to the soul
of man when he is still a wayfarer on this earth.

“This life, which the Father has promised and offered to each man in Jesus Christ,
his eternal and only Son, who ‘when the time had fully come’ (Gal 4:4), became
incarnate and was born of the Virgin Mary, is the final fulfillment of man’s vocation.
It is in a way the fulfillment of the ‘destiny’ that God has prepared for him from
eternity. This ‘divine destiny’ is advancing, in spite all the enigmas, the unsolved
riddles, the twists and turns of ‘human destiny’ in the world of time. Indeed, while
all this, in spite of all the riches of life in time, necessarily and inevitably leads to
the frontiers of death and the goal of the destruction of the human body, beyond
that goal we see Christ. ‘I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me
...shall never die.’ In Jesus Christ, who was crucified and laid in the tomb and
then rose again, ‘our hope of resurrection dawned...the bright promise of immor-
tality’ (”Roman Missal”, Preface of Christian Death, I), on the way to which man,
through the death of the body, shares with the whole of visible creation the neces-
sity to which matter is subject” (John Paul II, “Redemptor Hominis”, 18).

33-36. This passage gives us an opportunity to reflect on the depth and tender-
ness of Jesus’ feelings. If the physical death of his friend can move him to tears,
what will he not feel over the spiritual death of a sinner who has brought about his
eternal condemnation? “Christ wept: let man also weep for himself. For why did
Christ weep, but to teach men to weep” (St Augustine, “In Ioann. Evang.”, 49,
19). We also should weep—but for our sins, to help us return to the life of grace
through conversion and repentance. We should appreciate our Lord’s tears: he is
praying for us, who are sinners: “Jesus is your friend. The Friend. With a human
heart, like yours. With loving eyes that wept for Lazarus.

“And he loves you as much as he loved Lazarus” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”,
422).

41-42. Through his sacred humanity Jesus is expressing himself as the natural
Son of God, that is, he is the metaphysical Son of God, not adopted like the
rest of men. This is the source of Jesus’ feelings, which helps us understand
that when he says “Father” he is speaking with a unique and indescribable in-
tensity. When the Gospels let us see Jesus praying, they always show him
beginning with the invocation “Father” (cf. the note on Lk 11:1-2), which reflects
his singular trust and love (cf. Mt 11:25 and par.). These sentiments should also
in some way find a place in our prayer, for through Baptism we are joined to
Christ and in him we became children of God (cf. Jn 1:12; Rom 6:1-11, 8:14-17),
and so we should always pray in a spirit of sonship and gratitude for the many
good things our Father God has given us.

The miracle of the raising of Lazarus, which really is an extraordinary miracle, is
a proof that Jesus is the Son of God, sent into the world by his Father. And so it
is, that when Lazarus is brought back to life, people’s faith in Jesus is increased
—the disciples’ (v. 15), Martha’s and Mary’s (vv. 26, 40) and that of the people at
large (36, 45).

43. Jesus calls Lazarus by name. Although he is really dead, he has not thereby
lost his personal identity: dead people continue to exist, but they have a different
mode of existence, because they have changed from mortal life to eternal life.
This is why Jesus states that God “is not God of the dead, but of the living”, for
to him all are alive (cf. Mt 22:32; Lk 20:38).

This passage can be applied to the spiritual resurrection of the soul who has
sinned and recovers grace. God wants us to be saved (cf. 1 Tim 2:4); therefore
we should never lose heart; we should always desire and hope to reach this goal:
“Never despair. Lazarus was dead and decaying: ‘Iam foetet, quatriduanus enim
est. By now he will smell; this is the fourth day,’ says Martha to Jesus. “If you
hear God’s inspiration and follow it—’Lazare, veni foras!: Lazarus come out!’ —
you will return to Life” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 719).

44. The Jews prepared the body for burial by washing it and anointing it with
aromatic ointments to delay decomposition and counteract offensive odors; they
then wrapped the body in linen cloths and bandages, covering the head with a
napkin—a method very like the Egyptians’, but not entirely extending to full em-
balming, which involved removing certain internal organs.

Lazarus’ tomb would have consisted of a subterranean chamber linked to the
surface by steps, with the entrance blocked by a slab. Lazarus was moved out
to the entrance by a supernatural force. As happened in the case of the raising
of Jairus’ daughter (Mk 5:42-43), due to their astonishment no one moved until
our Lord’s words broke the atmosphere of silence and terror which had been
created.

St Augustine sees in the raising of Lazarus a symbol of the sacrament of
Penance: in the same way as Lazarus comes out of the tomb, “when you con-
fess, you come forth. For what does ‘come forth’ mean if not emerging from what
is hidden, to be made manifest. But for you to confess is God’s doing; he calls
you with an urgent voice, by an extraordinary grace. And just as the dead man
came out still bound, so you go to confession still guilty. In order that his sins
be loosed, the Lord said this to his ministers: ‘Unbind him and let him go’. What
you will loose on earth will be loosed also in heaven” (St Augustine, “In Ioann.
Evang.”, 49, 24). Christian art has used this comparison from very early on; in
the catacombs we find some one hundred and fifty representations of the raising
of Lazarus, symbolizing thereby the gift of the life of grace which comes through
the priest, who in effect repeats these words to the sinner: “Lazarus, come out.”

45-48. Once again, as Simeon had predicted, Jesus is a sign of contradiction
(cf. Lk 2:34; Jn’ 7:12, 31, 40; 9:16; etc.): presented with the miracle of the raising
of Lazarus some people believe in Jesus (v. 45), and some denounce him to his
enemies (cf. vv. 46-47)—confirming what is said in the parable of the rich man:
“neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (Lk 16:31).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 04/05/2014 8:25:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Ezekiel 37:12-14 ©

The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.


Psalm

Psalm 129:1-8 ©

With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord,

  Lord, hear my voice!

O let your ears be attentive

  to the voice of my pleading.

With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt,

  Lord, who would survive?

But with you is found forgiveness:

  for this we revere you.

With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

My soul is waiting for the Lord.

  I count on his word.

My soul is longing for the Lord

  more than watchman for daybreak.

(Let the watchman count on daybreak

  and Israel on the Lord.)

With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Because with the Lord there is mercy

  and fullness of redemption,

Israel indeed he will redeem

  from all its iniquity.

With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.


Second reading

Romans 8:8-11 ©

People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.


Gospel Acclamation

Jn11:25, 26

Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;

whoever believes in me will never die.

Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

EITHER:

Gospel

John 11:1-45 ©

There was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of Bethany with the two sisters, Mary and Martha, and he was ill. It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. The sisters sent this message to Jesus, ‘Lord, the man you love is ill.’ On receiving the message, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will end not in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.’

  Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judaea.’ The disciples said, ‘Rabbi, it is not long since the Jews wanted to stone you; are you going back again?’ Jesus replied:

‘Are there not twelve hours in the day?

A man can walk in the daytime without stumbling

because he has the light of this world to see by;

but if he walks at night he stumbles,

because there is no light to guide him.’

He said that and then added, ‘Our friend Lazarus is resting, I am going to wake him.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he is able to rest he is sure to get better.’ The phrase Jesus used referred to the death of Lazarus, but they thought that by ‘rest’ he meant ‘sleep’, so Jesus put it plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad I was not there because now you will believe. But let us go to him.’ Then Thomas – known as the Twin – said to the other disciples, ‘Let us go too, and die with him.’

  On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already. Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘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.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:

‘I am the resurrection and the life.

If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,

and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Do you believe this?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’

  When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in a low voice, ‘The Master is here and wants to see you.’ Hearing this, Mary got up quickly and went to him. Jesus had not yet come into the village; he was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were in the house sympathising with Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there.

  Mary went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw herself at his feet, saying, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ At the sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who followed her, Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart, ‘Where have you put him?’ They said, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept; and the Jews said, ‘See how much he loved him!’ But there were some who remarked, ‘He opened the eyes of the blind man, could he not have prevented this man’s death?’ Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus said, ‘Take the stone away.’ Martha said to him, ‘Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day.’ Jesus replied, ‘Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:

‘Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.

I knew indeed that you always hear me,

but I speak for the sake of all these who stand round me,

so that they may believe it was you who sent me.’

When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, here! Come out!’ The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let him go free.’

  Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him.

OR:

Alternative Gospel

John 11:3-7,17,20-27,33-45 ©

Mary and Martha sent this message to Jesus, ‘Lord, the man you love is ill.’ On receiving the message, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will end not in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.’

  Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judaea.’

  On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already. Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘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.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:

‘I am the resurrection and the life.

If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,

and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Do you believe this?’

‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’

  Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart, ‘Where have you put him?’ They said, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept; and the Jews said, ‘See how much he loved him!’ But there were some who remarked, ‘He opened the eyes of the blind man, could he not have prevented this man’s death?’ Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus said, ‘Take the stone away.’ Martha said to him, ‘Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day.’ Jesus replied, ‘Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:

‘Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.

I knew indeed that you always hear me,

but I speak for the sake of all these who stand round me,

so that they may believe it was you who sent me.’

When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, here! Come out!’ The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, let him go free.’

  Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him.


6 posted on 04/05/2014 8:32:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Walk in the Light – A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent
[Chaput:] Lent and the Road Less Traveled
Just a Little talk with Jesus – Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent
Every Round Goes Higher, Higher! – A Sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent A Lenten Meditation on the Cross as a Place of Love, even joy
Ten Tips for the Best Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Station Churches of Rome - Ash Wednesday - Santa Sabina (LIVE coverage 10:30 am)

EWTN adds Lenten scripture challenge to app
Make Your Lent Beautiful with Lent at Ephesus
Ancient Lenten pilgrimage comes to life through new book
Detox Your Soul This Lent
Lent is coming: Time to prepare Printable Lent Worksheet
Cdl. Bergoglio's Lenten Letter, 2013
Your Guide To A Catholic Lent
Following the Truth: Lent: Becoming Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Exercises – Week One [of Lent] In Review
Clerical Narcissism and Lent
Content of Pope's Lenten spiritual exercises revealed
How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (Ecumenical Thread)
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
On the 40 Days of Lent
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Lent, A Time to Shoulder Our Christian Responsibilities
Consecrate this Lent to Jesus through Mary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [Catholic Caucus]
Opinion: Lent for Redacted [Ekoomenikal]

Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
Lent, A Time to Give from the Heart [Catholic caucus}
Learning the beatitudes during Lent -- use your Rosary to learn the Beatitutdes [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Ember Days: March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 2011 (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Vincent Ferrer - Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent [Ecumenical]
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
Cana Sunday: Entrance into Great Lent
2011 Catechetical Homily on the opening of Holy and Great Lent
8 Ways to Pray During Lent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Baptists, Lent, and the Rummage Sale
So What Shall We Do during These Forty Days of Lent? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor
Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges

Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
Temptations Correspond to Our Vulnerabilities: Biblical Reflection for 1st Sunday of Lent
A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
US seminarians begin Lenten pilgrimage to Rome's ancient churches
Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
vanity] Hope you all make a good Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)

Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)
40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]
Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict
Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Why We Need Lent
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2006
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent
Lent: A Time to Fast >From Media and Criticism Says President of Pontifical Liturgical Institute
Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross
Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

7 posted on 04/05/2014 8:33:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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40 Days for Life -- March 3 through April 13 -- Pray to End Abortion
8 posted on 04/05/2014 8:43:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 04/05/2014 9:08:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 04/05/2014 9:09:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

11 posted on 04/05/2014 9:11:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The 1961 Missal says to use the Sorrowful Mysteries from Ash Wednesday to Easter.


12 posted on 04/05/2014 9:11:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  II BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]

13 posted on 04/05/2014 9:14:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

14 posted on 04/05/2014 9:14:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


15 posted on 04/05/2014 9:16:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


April Devotion: The Blessed Sacrament

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. The Church traditionally encouraged the month of April for increased devotion to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. "The Church in the course of the centuries has introduced various forms of this Eucharistic worship which are ever increasing in beauty and helpfulness; as, for example, visits of devotion to the tabernacles, even every day; Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament; solemn processions, especially at the time of Eucharistic Congresses, which pass through cities and villages; and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament publicly exposed . . . These exercises of piety have brought a wonderful increase in faith and supernatural life to the Church militant upon earth and they are re-echoed to a certain extent by the Church triumphant in heaven, which sings continually a hymn of praise to God and to the Lamb 'Who was slain.'" --Pope Pius XII

ACT OF ADORATION
I adore Thee, 0 Jesus, true God and true Man, here present in the Holy Eucharist, humbly kneeling before Thee and united in spirit with all the faithful on earth and all the blessed in heaven. In deepest gratitude for so great a blessing, I love Thee, my Jesus, with my whole heart, for Thou art all perfect and all worthy of love.

Give me grace nevermore in any way to offend Thee, and grant that I, being refreshed by Thy Eucharistic presence here on earth, may be found worthy to come to the enjoyment with Mary of Thine eternal and everblessed presence in heaven. Amen.

FAITH IN THE EUCHARIST
O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art really and corporally present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I adore Thee here present from the very depths of my heart, and I worship Thy sacred presence with all possible humility. O my soul, what joy to have Jesus Christ always with us, and to be able to speak to Him, heart to heart, with all confidence. Grant, O Lord, that I, having adored Thy divine Majesty here on earth in this wonderful Sacrament, may be able to adore it eternally in Heaven. Amen.

FOR THE PEACE OF CHRIST
O most sacred, most loving heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still. Now as then Thou sayest, "With desire I have desired." I worship Thee, then, with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will. O make my heart beat with Thy heart. Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness. So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it; but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace. --Cardinal Newman

ACT OF LOVE
I believe Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament, O Jesus. I love Thee and desire Thee. Come into my heart. I embrace Thee, O never leave me. I beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus, may the burning and most sweet power of Thy love absorb my mind, that I may die through love of Thy love, who wast graciously pleased to die through love of my love. --St. Francis of Assisi

ACT OF REPARATION
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, well known in connection with devotion to the Sacred Herat of Jesus, led the way in making reparation to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the coldness and ingratitude of men. This prayer of hers can become our own as we attempt to make amends for our own and others' neglect of the great Sacrament of His love, the Eucharist.
O kind and merciful savior, from my heart I earnestly desire to return Thee love for love. My greatest sorrow is that Thou art not loved by men, and, in particular, that my own heart is so cold, so selfish, so ungrateful. Keenly aware of my own weakness and poverty, I trust that Thy own grace will enable me to offer Thee an act of pure love. And I wish to offer Thee this act of love in reparation for the coldness and neglect that are shown to Thee in the sacrament of Thy love by Thy creatures. O Jesus, my supreme good, I love Thee, not for the sake of the reward which Thou hast promised to those who love Thee, but purely for Thyself. I love Thee above all things that can be loved, above all pleasures, and above myself and all that is not Thee, promising in the presence of heaven and earth that I will live and die purely and simply in Thy holy love, and that if to love Thee thus I must endure persecution and suffering I am completely satisfied, and I will ever say with Saint Paul: Nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God." 0 Jesus, supreme master of all hearts, I love Thee, I adore Thee, I praise Thee, I thank Thee, because I am now all Thine own. Rule over me, and transform my soul into the likeness of Thyself, so that it may bless and glorify Thee forever in the abode of the saints.
--Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

OFFERING
My Lord, I offer Thee myself in turn as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Thou hast died for me, and I in turn make myself over to Thee. I am not my own. Thou hast bought me; I will by my own act and deed complete the purchase. My wish is to be separated from everything of this world; to cleanse myself simply from sin; to put away from me even what is innocent, if used for its own sake, and not for Thine. I put away reputation and honor, and influence, and power, for my praise and strength shall be in Thee. Enable me to carry out what I profess. Amen. --Cardinal Newman

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Litany of the Most Blessed Sacrament

Lord, have mercy,  Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy,  Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us,  Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

O Living Bread, Who from Heaven descended, have mercy on us.
Hidden God and Savior, have mercy on us.
Grain of the elect, have mercy on us.
Vine sprouting forth virgins, have mercy on us.
Wholesome Bread and delicacy of kings, have mercy on us.
Perpetual sacrifice, have mercy on us.
Clean oblation, have mercy on us.
Lamb without spot, have mercy on us.
Most pure feast, have mercy on us.
Food of Angels, have mercy on us.
Hidden manna, have mercy on us.
Memorial of God's wonders, have mercy on us.
Supersubstantial Bread, have mercy on us.
Word made flesh, dwelling in us, have mercy on us.
Holy Victim, have mercy on us.

O Cup of blessing, have mercy on us.
O Mystery of faith, have mercy on us.
O Most high and venerable Sacrament, have mercy on us.
O Most holy of all sacrifices, have mercy on us.
O True propitiatory Sacrifice for the living and the dead, have mercy on us.
O Heavenly antidote, by which we are preserved from sin, have mercy on us.
O stupendous miracle above all others, have mercy on us.
O most holy Commemoration of the Passison of Christ, have mercy on us.
O Gift transcending all abundance, have mercy on us.
O extraordinary memorial of Divine love, have mercy on us.
O affluence of Divine largess, have mercy on us.
O most holy and august mystery, have mercy on us.

Medicine of immortality, have mercy on us.
Awesome and life-giving Sacrament, have mercy on us.
Unbloody Sacrifice, have mercy on us.
Food and guest, have mercy on us.
Sweetest banquet at which the Angels serve, have mercy on us.
Bond of love, have mercy on us.
Offering and oblation, have mercy on us.
Spiritual sweetness tasted in its own foutain, have mercy on us.
Refreshment of holy souls, have mercy on us.
Viaticum of those dying in the Lord, have mercy on us.
Pledge of future glory, have mercy on us.

Be merciful, spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.

From the unworthy reception of Thy Body and Blood, deliver us, O Lord.
From passions of the flesh, deliver us, O Lord.
From the concupiscence of the eyes, deliver us, O Lord.
From pride, deliver us, O Lord.
From every occasion of sin, deliver us, O Lord.
Through that desire, with which Thou desiredst to eat the Passover with Thy disciples, deliver us, O Lord.
Through that profound humility with which Thou didst wash Thy disciples' feet, deliver us, O Lord.
Through that most ardent love, with which Thou instituted this Divine Sacrament,
deliver us, O Lord.
Through the most precious Blood, which Thou hast left for us upon the altar, deliver us, O Lord.
Through those Five Wounds of Thy most holy Body, which was given up for us, deliver us, O Lord.

Sinners we are, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously preserve and augment the faith, reverence, and devotion in us towards this admirable Sacrament, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously lead us through the true confession of we beseech Thee, hear us.
our sins to a frequent reception of the Eucharist, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously free us from every heresy, falsehood, and blindness of the heart, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously impart to us the Heavenly and precious fruits of this most Holy Sacrament, we beseech Thee, hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously protect and strengthen us in our hour of death with this Heavenly Viaticum, we beseech Thee, hear us.

O Son of God, we beseech Thee, hear us.
 Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
Christ, hear us, Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us, Christ, graciously hear us.
Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy, Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.
Our Father . . .
Hail Mary . . .
 

V. Thou didst furnish them with Bread from Heaven, Alleluia.
R. Having in it every delight.

Let us pray.

O God, Who under a marvelous Sacrament has left us a memorial of Thy Passion; grant us; we beseech Thee; so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within us the fruit of Thy Redemption. Thou, Who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.
 

From the Manuale Sacerdotum, P. Josephus Schneider, S. J., 1867

The Real Presence: The Eucharist and Chastity [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Faith in the Life of a Priest [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Eucharistic Devotion and the Real Presence [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: The Holy Eucharist is the Whole Christ [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Eucharist as Presence-Sacrament [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Understanding the Eucharist, The Greatest Need in Church Today [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus'
The Real Presence: Living in the Presence of God [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: The Sacred Heart Is The Holy Eucharist [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Real Presence: The Eucharist as the Living Christ [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Christ in the Eucharist, Introduction to the Eucharist,[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Real Presence: Christ in the Eucharist, The Last Supper, [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
The Eucharist: Foundation of the Christian Family(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
A Beautiful Summary of Eucharistic theology in an antiphon by Aquinas
Christ in the Eucharist (Ecumenical)
Canon Law and Consecrating the Eucharist (Catholic Caucus)
COMMUNION THROUGH A FEEDING TUBE (And More on Confirmations)
The Eucharist -- John 6
Catholicism and Fundamentalism — The Eucharist
On the Giving and Receiving of Holy Communion: Some norms to recall [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Word of the Day: HOLY COMMUNION, 05-19-12
Following the Truth: Recognizing Jesus In The Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
The Fourth Cup
The Last Supper and the Forgiveness of Sins
Bread from Heaven: The Eucharist Sustains Us and Lifts Us Up [Catholic Caucus]
Essays for Lent: The Eucharist
Essays for Lent: The Mass
Excerpt from: The Didache (The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Divorced Catholics and the Eucharist
Following The Truth: So, You Just Received Jesus…Now What? (Catholic or Open)
The Coptic Orthodox doctrine of the Eucharistic sacrifice

Auxiliary Bishop Says Communion In the Hand is a Calvinist Novelty [Ecumenical]
How Something We Consider Solidly Traditional was Once Thought Progressive (Catholic)
Transubstantiation: Change We Can Believe In
Diocese limits Communion under both kinds, laments excessive extraordinary ministers
Phoenix Diocese to adopt new norms for Holy Communion [Catholic Caucus]
What Does GIRM 160 for the USA Really Say?
Lift the City - a Catholic Eucharistic flash mob (Catholic Caucus)
Justin Martyr: 1st apology: Sacraments, Eucharist {Catholic/Orthodox caucus}
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture [Catholic Caucus]
How the Mass is a sacrifice, and why so many deny this doctrine (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
[Ecumenical] Lent through Eastertide - Divine Mercy Diary Exerpts: Holy Communion and the Eucharist
Vatican consultant responds to Cardinal Mahoney ‘Christ gave Judas communion’ argument
New book connects the Eucharist with its Jewish roots
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST (sections 3 only) {Ecumenical Thread}
THE SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST (sections 1&2 only) {Ecumenical Thread}
The Perfect Sacrifice: When Heaven Comes to Earth [Catholic Caucus]
The Real Presence [Church Fathers on the Holy Eucharist, cont'd ]
Is the Mass a Sacrifice? (Once and for all, Heb 9-10) {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}
Radio Replies Second Volume - Holy Communion
The Real presence of Christ in the Eucharist {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}

Radio Replies Second Volume - The Sacrifice of the Mass
Radio Replies Second Volume - Holy Eucharist
How Do We Prepare Well for the Coming of the Lord
Thanksgiving, the Prophets and the Eucharist
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] The Pope of a Eucharistic Springtime
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi. As we Worship, So we Believe, So we Live
[CATHOLIC/ORTHODOX CAUCUS] 5th Luminous Mystery: Institution of the Eucharist (Patristic Rosary)
Wounded in the house of them that loved Me
[CATHOLIC / ORTHODOX CAUCUS] Eucharist is Jesus' greatest gift to us, teaches Pope Benedict XVI
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] What makes Jesus present in the Eucharist: broadening one's view.
The Catholic Mass in 155 A.D.
Pope's Q--A at End of Priestly Year Pt 4 "We Celebrate,..Meditate..on Eucharist" [Catholic Caucus]
Sacrifice, Transubstantiation, and Real Presence (Pope Benedict XVI) [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: Eucharist is the Heart of God
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS]'Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity': The Miracle and Gift of the Most Holy Eucharist
A Secular Eucharist
Paul and the Eucharist
Centered in the Eucharist
Centered in the Eucharist
Who Can Receive Communion? (Catholic Caucus)

Respect For Christ In The Eucharist – One Priest’s Perspective
From The Gospel To Life: The Disciples and the Eucharist
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: The Eucharist: The Lord's Supper
THE PRIEST IN THE COMMUNION RITES - Liturgy Prepares for Reception of the Eucharist
Novena with Saint Peter Julian Eymard for Prayer in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament [Prayer]
Boston Cardinal: Church Needs 'Clear' Injunction Denying Pro-Abortion Pols Communion
Benedict XVI calls priests to protect communion between God and man
Eucharist: Holy Sacrifice
Fr. Men: The Eucharist [Cath-Orth caucus]
Catholics in Costa Rica outraged by disrespect toward Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture
St Anthony and the Real Presence
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace: The Eucharist
EWTN - October 29 - 8PM - Fr. Antoine and the Eucharist
All Should Offer Their Bodies and Blood at Mass (Father Cantalamessa) [Catholic Caucus]
The Role of the Bishop of Rome in the Communion of the Church in the First Millennium
Radio Replies First Volume - Holy Eucharist
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture
Catholic Caucus: The Spiritual Combat Ch 54. MANNER IN WHICH WE OUGHT TO RECEIVE...BLESSED SACRAMENT
Catholic Caucus: The Spiritual Combat: Ch 53. CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST

A Few Texts From Saint Cyril of Jerusalem on the Eucharist
Catholic Devotional: On Visiting Jesus Christ In the Blessed Sacrament
The Early Christians Believed in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Focus on the Real Presence
A Chinese Girl-True Story That Inspired Bishop Fulton Sheen- Eucharist Adoration (Catholic Caucus)
Doubting Thomases(Eucharist); the Pitfalls of Folly(Catholic Caucus)
Rainbow sash-wearers prohibited from receiving [the Eucharist at Cathedral of St. Paul]
The significance of Holy Thursday (institution of the Eucharist and priesthood)
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas THE HOLY EUCHARIST
Holy Communion and Non-Catholics (with a Quiz!)
Beginning Catholic: The Eucharist: In the Presence of the Lord Himself [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Receiving the Lord in Holy Communion [Ecumenical]
Faithful Invited to Follow Pope, Adore Eucharist [Catholic Caucus]
Christmas and the Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Eucharist kneeling request sparks controversy [Catholic Caucus]
Eucharist vs. the Word (which is more important in the Catholic Church)
Christ the Miracle Worker in the Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
Imitating Christ in the Eucharist(Catholic Caucus)
The Eucharist - the Lord's Sacrifice, Banquet and Presence (OPEN)

Pope Calls Eucharist History's Greatest Revolution [OPEN]
A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 22: The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion)
A series of reflections from St. Peter Julian Eymard Blessed Sacrament(Catholic Caucus)
Eucharist, Holy Meal
Imitating Christ in the Eucharist
Christmas and the Eucharist
Prayer Before the Blessed Sacrament
This is My Body, This is My Blood
THE HOLY EUCHARIST IS THE WHOLE CHRIST
Gift Of Life, Gift Eternal: The Most Holy Eucharist and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Area worshipers march to celebrate Holy Eucharist
Grace of the Eucharist is secret to holy priests, says Pope
The Disposition of Priests [Valid Mass, Valid Holy Eucharist?]
The Body of Christ?
Holy Sacrifice, Living Sacrament
Knights of the Eucharist
The Banquet of Corpus Christi - "Why did Jesus give us His Body and Blood?"
The Eucharist: Eternity and Time Together
Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation? Confirmation and First Eucharist together? (Vanity)
Reflections of Cardinal Ratzinger on the Eucharist

THE HOLY EUCHARIST: NOURISHMENT TO FINISH OUR COURSE
The Eucharist in Scripture - Part 1 - Old Testament
LITANY OF REPARATION TO OUR LORD IN THE BLESSED SACRAMENT
Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament
POPE GRANTS PLENARY INDULGENCE FOR YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
New Plenary Indulgence to Mark Year of the Eucharist
Kneeling and Faith in the Eucharist
The Immaculate Conception and the Eucharist, a course in Christian culture in Tashkent
The Year of the Eucharist by Bishop Donald Wuerl
"While We're At It": What can we do to show that the Eucharist is a communal activity?
CATHOLICS AND BAPTISTS WITNESSED UNUSUAL IMAGES IN BLESSED SACRAMENT
The Discipline of the Eucharist Holy See Releases Redemptionis Sacramentum...
Vatican: Matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist (April 23, 2004)
Devotion to the Holy Eucharist Advances Devotion to Jesus' Person
New rules on the Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday
The Reverence due to the Holy Eucharist
The Holy Face of Jesus Christ as appeared on the Holy Eucharist
The Fourth Cup: The Sacrament of the Eucharist [Holy Thursday] [Passover]
Holy Father stresses Need of Devotion to Holy Eucharist outside of Mass: Pope Paul VI

16 posted on 04/05/2014 9:16:57 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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April 2014 Year A

Pope's Intention

Universal: That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.

For Evangelization: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.


17 posted on 04/05/2014 9:17:59 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Zenit.org

Love Conquers Death

Lectio Divina: 5th Sunday of Lent, Year A

Paris, April 04, 2014 (Zenit.org) Monsignor Francesco Follo | 652 hits

1) Love conquers death.

 

     The Gospel passage that is proposed today by the Liturgy of the Mass invites us to contemplate the miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus[1] as a preview and prophecy of Jesus' resurrection that will take place in Jerusalem on Easter Day. The risen Lazarus is also a "sign” that life, when lived in friendship with Christ, is not defeated by death. Those who love never die because they give and live in another. Moreover, those who are loved by Christ don’t die, they "sleep " and are awakened by Christ.

     The love for Lazarus “forces” again a miracle from Jesus. In the Song of Songs it is said that "love is as strong as death" (8:6). Jesus in this gesture shows that love is stronger than death; He "wakes up” the friend from the deadly sleep.

     There are many aspects that can be highlighted in this episode.

     I think it is useful to start from the place: the house of Lazarus, Martha and Mary in Bethany[2]. Jesus goes to this house, because these three persons are a "place" of friendship, and their abode is the "place" of sharing and not just of rest or shelter. It is a place of life that conquers death and goes beyond death; it is a relationship of deep friendship and of true communion.

     Then it is important to note the overlap of two facts: Lazarus is left to die by Jesus as Jesus was left to die on the Cross by the Father. Humanly speaking, it is outrageous. Jesus loves Lazarus (the Gospel emphasizes this repeatedly), however He let him die. Why? God the Father loves the Son, the Beloved, and however He let him die on the Cross. Why? How can we believe that it is not death that has the last word, but the God/Love who gives life that does not stop with the end of biological life?  By asking that Christ increases our faith and contemplating Him in his life, death and resurrection

     Everyone understands that this is the mystery of human existence: a promise of life that then seems to be denied, a promise of salvation by a God that then seems to contradict himself. A disturbing mystery that in no way should be mitigated. Even Jesus cried in front of his friend's death and he felt at loss in front of the imminence of the Cross. Death, like the cross, continues to remain something incomprehensible: God says that He loves us then let us dies. It looks like abandonment.

2) The Tears of God and the “resurrection” of Martha and Mary.

     Jesus weeps, thus demonstrating to love Lazarus deeply. But here is the question: “He who opened his eyes to the blind could not prevent this man from dying?” It was the question of the people at that time and it is also our question today.

     But the same question imposes itself on us in front of the death of Jesus on the Cross. If Jesus is the Son of God, loved by God, why is He abandoned to the Cross? If God is with him, should not have happened otherwise? Yet even God weeps tears on Christ and on us: “The Mass is the cry of God" (St. Pius of Pietralcina) and "Even God cries, his crying is like that of a father who loves his children "(Pope Francis, Mass of February 5, 2014).

     It is not easy to see in the Cross an epiphany of love, but Lent and the approaching Holy Week are given to us to contemplate this manifestation of charity so that we can learn to "love the pain which reveals to us the work of his love" (St Pius of Pietralcina), and to make ours the prayer of the psalm, "In you is the source of life, in your light we see light " (Ps 36).

     The mystery of the existence of man, loved by God and nevertheless left to die, is reflected and magnified in the mystery of the Cross of Jesus. But it also resolves in it because there are different ways to see and there are two possible readings of the Cross and of the existence of man. There is the gaze devoid of faith of those who will only see the scandal and the death of man and of Christ on the Cross as the sign of failure. And there is the view of the one that opens to the faith, exceeds the scandal and sees that in the Cross of Jesus, as in the man's death, shines the resurrection. And this is really a staple for all the Christians: if we want to find a meaning in the history and in life, we must learn to see in the Cross of Christ, the glory of God. It cannot be otherwise.

     The resurrection of Lazarus is a sign of a more general destiny that involves those who are summoned around this table. Jesus calls Lazarus out of the grave. But the resurrected Lazarus is a sign of what is happening to the sisters Martha and Mary. Marta in fact recognizes in his friend the Lord of life.

     I think it's fair to say that the resurrection is to believe in Jesus, because whoever lives and believes in Him may not die forever (cf. Jn 11:26). The “confession of faith “by Marta is also the resurrection of the two sisters.

     The consecrated Virgins give us an example of a “resurrected life " because they live their vocation as a way of resurrection, and the spousal friendship with Christ as personal relationship in love, based on a complete dedication to Christ and a radical recognition of  Him. With this witness of love these women show us the importance of contemplation as the ability to see clearly the Lord in the events of our daily existence and that of all humanity. In this they put into practice what the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life wrote: “The consecrated life, in the continuous development and experience of new forms, is already in itself an eloquent expression of this presence of Christ, almost a kind of Gospel spread over the centuries. It appears in fact as a "prolongation in history of a special presence of the Risen Lord." From this assurance, the consecrated persons must seek a new momentum making it the force, which inspires their journey. Today's society expects to see in them a concrete reflection of Jesus doing, of His love for all people, without distinction or qualification and want to experience that it is possible to say with the Apostle Paul, "This life in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal 2: 20). “(Starting Afresh from Christ: a Renewed Commitment to

consecrated Life in the Third Millennium, May 19, 2002, n. 2).

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Lent: Sunday of Lazarus

Roman Rite - Fifth Sunday of Lent - Year A - April 6, 2014

Ez 37: 12-14 , Ps 130 , Rom 8.8 to 11 , Jn 11:1-45

Ambrosian Rite - Fifth Sunday of Lent

Ex 14.15-31, Ps 105, Eph 2, 4-10; Jn 11.1 to 53

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                          Tractates on the Gospel of John (Augustine): Tractate 49

1. Among all the miracles wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Lazarus holds a foremost place in preaching. But if we consider attentively who did it, our duty is to rejoice rather than to wonder. A man was raised up by Him who made man: for He is the only One of the Father, by whom, as you know, all things were made. And if all things were made by Him, what wonder is it that one was raised by Him, when so many are daily brought into the world by His power? It is a greater deed to create men than to raise them again from the dead. Yet He deigned to create and to rise again; to create all, to resuscitate some. For though the Lord Jesus did many such acts, yet all of them are not recorded; just as this same St. John the evangelist himself testifies, that Christ the Lord both said and did many things that are not recorded; but such were chosen for record as seemed to suffice for the salvation of believers. You have just heard that the Lord Jesus raised a dead man to life; and that is sufficient to let you know that, were He so pleased, He might raise all the dead to life. And, indeed this very work has He reserved in His own hands till the end of the world. For while you have heard that by a great miracle He raised one from the tomb who had been dead four days, the hour is coming, as He Himself says, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth. He raised one, who was putrid, and yet in that putrid carcass there was still the form of limbs; but at the last day He will by a word reconstitute ashes into human flesh. But it was needful then to do only some such deeds, that we, receiving them as tokens of His power, may put our trust in Him, and be preparing for that resurrection which shall be to life and not to judgment. So, indeed, He says, the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

2. We have, however, read in the Gospel of three dead persons who were raised to life by the Lord, and, let us hope, to some good purpose. For surely the Lord's deeds are not merely deeds, but signs. And if they are signs, besides their wonderful character, they have some real significance: and to find out this in regard to such deeds is a somewhat harder task than to read or hear of them. We were listening with wonder, as at the sight of some mighty miracle enacted before our eyes, in the reading of the Gospel, how Lazarus was restored to life. If we turn our thoughts to the still more wonderful works of Christ, every one that believes rises again: if we all consider, and understand that more horrifying kind of death, everyone who sins dies. But every man is afraid of the death of the flesh; few, of the death of the soul. In regard to the death of the flesh, which must certainly come sometime, all are on their guard against its approach: this is the source of all their labor. Man, destined to die, labors to avert his dying; and yet man, destined to live forever, labors not to cease from sinning. And when he labors to avoid dying, he labors to no purpose, for its only result will be to put off death for a while, not to escape it; but if he refrain from sinning, his toil will cease, and he shall live forever. Oh that we could arouse men, and be ourselves aroused along with them, to be as great lovers of the life that abides, as men are of that which passes away! What will a man not do who is placed under the peril of death? When the sword was overhanging their heads, men have given up every means of living they had in reserve. Who is there that has not made an immediate surrender of all, to escape being slain? And, after all, he has perhaps been slain. Who is there that, to save his life, has not been willing at once to lose his means of living, and prefer a life of beggary to a speedy death? Who has had it said to him, Be off to sea if you would escape with your life, and has delayed to do so? Who has had it said to him, Set to work if you would preserve your life, and has continued a sluggard? It is but little that God requires of us, that we may live forever: and we neglect to obey Him. God says not to you, Lose all you have, that you may live a little time oppressed with toil; but, Give to the poor of what you have, that you may live always exempt from labor. The lovers of this temporal life, which is theirs, neither when, nor as long as they wish, are our accusers; and we accuse not ourselves in turn, so sluggish are we, so lukewarm about obtaining eternal life, which will be ours if we wish it, and will be imperishable when we have it; but this death which we fear, notwithstanding all our reluctance, will yet be ours in possession.

3. If, then, the Lord in the greatness of His grace and mercy raises our souls to life, that we may not die for ever, we may well understand that those three dead persons whom He raised in the body, have some figurative significance of that resurrection of the soul which is effected by faith: He raised up the ruler of the synagogue's daughter, while still lying in the house; Mark 5:41-42 He raised up the widow's young son, while being carried outside the gates of the city; Luke 7:14-15 and He raised up Lazarus, when four days in the grave. Let each one give heed to his own soul: in sinning he dies: sin is the death of the soul. But sometimes sin is committed only in thought. You have felt delight in what is evil, you have assented to its commission, you have sinned; that assent has slain you: but the death is internal, because the evil thought had not yet ripened into action. The Lord intimated that He would raise such a soul to life, in raising that girl, who had not yet been carried forth to the burial, but was lying dead in the house, as if sin still lay concealed. But if you have not only harbored a feeling of delight in evil, but hast also done the evil thing, you have, so to speak, carried the dead outside the gate: you are already without, and being carried to the tomb. Yet such an one also the Lord raised to life and restored to his widowed mother. If you have sinned, repent, and the Lord will raise you up, and restore you to your mother Church. The third example of death is Lazarus. A grievous kind of death it is, and is distinguished as a habit of wickedness. For it is one thing to fall into sin, another to form the habit of sinning. He who falls into sin, and straightway submits to correction, will be speedily restored to life; for he is not yet entangled in the habit, he is not yet laid in the tomb. But he who has become  habituated to sin, is buried, and has it properly said of him, he stinks; for his character, like some horrible smell, begins to be of the worst repute. Such are all who are habituated to crime, abandoned in morals. You say to such an one, Do not so. But when will you be listened to by one on whom the earth is thus heaped, who is breeding corruption, and pressed down with the weight of habit? And yet the power of Christ was not unequal to the task of restoring such an one to life. We know, we have seen, we see every day men changing the very worst of habits, and adopting a better manner of life than that of those who blamed them. You detested such a man: look at the sister of Lazarus herself (if, indeed, it was she who anointed the Lord's feet with ointment, and wiped with her hair what she had washed with her tears), who had a better resurrection than her brother; she was delivered from the mighty burden of a sinful character. For she was a notorious sinner; and had it said of her, Her many sins are forgiven her, for she has loved much. We see many such, we know many: let none despair, but let none presume in himself. Both the one and the other are sinful. Let your unwillingness to despair take such a turn as to lead you to make choice of Him in whom alone you may well presume.

4. So then the Lord also raised Lazarus to life. You have heard what type of character he represents; in other words, what is meant by the resurrection of Lazarus. Let us now, therefore, read over the passage; and as there is much in this lesson clear already, we shall not go into any detailed exposition, so as to take up more thoroughly the necessary points. Now a certain man was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and Martha, his sisters. In the previous lesson you remember that the Lord escaped from the hands of those who sought to stone Him, and went away beyond Jordan, where John baptized. When the Lord therefore had taken up His abode there, Lazarus fell sick in Bethany, which was a town lying close to Jerusalem.

5. But Mary was she who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore his sisters sent unto Him, saying. We now understand whither it was they sent, namely, where the Lord was; for He was away, as you know, beyond the Jordan. They sent messengers to the Lord to tell Him that their brother was ill. He delayed to heal, that He might be able to raise to life. But what was the message sent by his sisters? Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick. They did not say, Come; for the intimation was all that was needed for one who loved. They did not venture to say, Come and heal him: they ventured not to say, Command there, and it shall be done here. And why not so with them, if on these very grounds the centurion's faith was commended? For he said, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. Matthew viii No such words said these women, but only, Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick. It is enough that You know; for You are not one that loves and forsakes. But says some one, How could a sinner be represented by Lazarus, and be so loved by the Lord? Let him listen to Him, when He says, I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. Matthew 9:13 For had not God loved sinners, He would not have come down from heaven to earth.

6. But when Jesus heard [that], He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified. Such a glorifying of Himself did not add to His dignity, but benefited us. Hence He says, is not unto death, because even that death itself was not unto death, but rather unto the working of a miracle whereby men might be led to faith in Christ, and so escape the real death. And mark how the Lord, as it were indirectly, called Himself God, for the sake of some who deny that the Son is God. For there are heretics who make such a denial, that the Son of God is God. Let them hearken here: This sickness, He says, is not unto death, but for the glory of God. For what glory? For the glory of what God? Hear what follows: That the Son of God may be glorified. This sickness, therefore, He says, is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God maybe glorified thereby. By what? By that sickness.

7. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. The one sick, the others sad, all of them beloved: but He who loved them was both the Saviour of the sick, nay more, the Raiser of the dead and the Comforter of the sad. When He heard therefore that he was sick, He abode then two days still in the same place. They sent Him word: He abode where He was: and the time ran on till four days were completed. And not in vain, were it only that perhaps, nay that certainly, even the very number of days has some sacramental significance. Then after that He says again to His disciples, Let us go into Judea: where He had been all but stoned, and from which He had apparently departed for the very purpose to escape being stoned. For as man He departed; but returned as if in forgetfulness of all infirmity, to show His power. Let us go, He said, into Judea.

8. And now see how the disciples were terrified at His words. The disciples say unto Him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone You, and You are going there again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? What does such an answer mean? They said to Him, The Jews of late sought to stone You, and You are going there again to be stoned? And the Lord, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world: but if he walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him. He spoke indeed of the day, but to our understanding as if it were still the night. Let us call upon the Day to chase away the night, and illuminate our hearts with the light. For what did the Lord mean? As far as I can judge, and as the height and depth of His meaning breaks into light, He wished to argue down their doubting and unbelief. For they wished by their counsel to keep the Lord from death, who had come to die, to save themselves from death. In a similar way also, in another passage, St. Peter, who loved the Lord, but did not yet fully understand the reason of His coming, was afraid of His dying, and so displeased the Life, to wit, the Lord Himself; for when He was intimating to the disciples what He was about to suffer at Jerusalem at the hands of the Jews, Peter made reply among the rest, and said, Far be it from You, Lord; pity Yourself: this shall not be unto You. And at once the Lord replied, Get behind me, Satan: for you savor not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. And yet a little before, in confessing the Son of God, he had merited commendation: for he heard the words, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 16:16-23 To whom He had said, Blessed are you, He now says, Get behind me, Satan; because it was not of himself that he was blessed. But of what then? For flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father who is in heaven. See, this is how you are blessed, not from anything that is your own, but from that which is mine. Not that I am the Father, but that all things which the Father has are mine. But if his blessedness came from the Lord's own working, from whose [working] came he to be Satan? He there tells us: for He assigned the reason of such blessedness, when He said, Flesh and blood has not revealed this unto you, but my Father who is in heaven: that is the cause of your blessedness. But that I said, Get behind me, Satan, hear also its cause. For you savor not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Let no one then flatter himself: in that which is natural to himself he is Satan, in that which is of God he is blessed. For all that is of his own, whence comes it, but from his sin? Put away the sin, which is your own. Righteousness, He says, belongs unto me. For what have you that thou did not receive? 1 Corinthians 4:7Accordingly, when men wished to give counsel to God, disciples to their Master, servants to their Lord, patients to their Physician, He reproved them by saying, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not. Follow me, if you would not stumble: give not counsel to me, from whom you ought to receive it. To what, then, refer the words, Are there not twelve hours in the day? Just that to point Himself out as the day, He made choice of twelve disciples. If I am the day, He says, and you the hours, is it for the hours to give counsel to the day? The day is followed by the hours, not the hours by the day. If these, then, were the hours, what in such a reckoning was Judas? Was he also among the twelve hours? If he was an hour, he had light; and if he had light, how was the Day betrayed by him to death? But theLord, in so speaking, foresaw, not Judas himself, but his successor. For Judas, when he fell, was succeeded by Matthias, and the duodenary number preserved. Acts 1:26 It was not, then, without a purpose that the Lord made choice of twelve disciples, but to indicate that He Himself is the spiritual Day. Let the hours then attend upon the Day, let them preach the Day, be made known and illuminated by the Day, and by the preaching of the hours may the world believe in the Day. And so in a summary way it was just this that He said: Follow me, if you would not stumble.

9. And after that He says unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. It was true what He said. To his sisters he was dead, to the Lord he was asleep. He was dead to men, who could not raise him again; but the Lord aroused him with as great ease from the tomb as one arouses a sleeper from his bed. Hence it was in reference to His own power that He spoke of him as sleeping: for others also, who are dead, are frequently spoken of in Scripture as sleeping; as when the apostle says, But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 Therefore he also spoke of them as sleeping, because foretelling their resurrection. And so, all the dead are sleeping, both good and bad. But just as, in the case of those who sleep and waken day by day, there is a great difference as to what they severally see in their sleep: some experience pleasant dreams; others, dreams so frightful that the waking are afraid to fall asleep for fear of their recurrence: so every individual sleeps and wakens in circumstances peculiar to himself. And there is a difference as to the kind of custody one may be placed in, who is afterwards to be taken before the judge. For the kind of custody in which men are placed depends on the merits of the case: some are required to be guarded by lictors, an office humane and mild, and becoming a citizen; others are given up to subordinates; some, again, are sent to prison: and in the prison itself all are not thrust together into its lowest dungeons, but dealt with in proportion to the merits and superior gravity of the charges. As, then, there are different kinds of custody among those engaged in official life, so there are different kinds of custody for the dead, and differing merits in those who rise again. The beggar was taken into custody, so was the rich man: but the one into Abraham's bosom; the other, where he thirsted, and found not a drop of water. Luke 16:22-24

10. Therefore, to make this the occasion of instructing your Charity, all souls have, when they quit this world, their different receptions. The good have joy; the evil, torments. But when the resurrection takes place, both the joy of the good will be fuller and the torments of the wicked    heavier, when they shall be tormented in the body. The holy patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, and good believers, have been received into peace; but all of them have still in the end to receive the fulfillment of the divine promises; for they have been promised also the resurrection of the flesh, the destruction of death, and eternal life with the angels. This we have all to receive together; for the rest, which is given immediately after death, every one, if worthy of it, receives when he dies. The patriarchs first received it— think only from what they rest; the prophets afterwards; more recently the apostles; still more lately the holy martyrs, and day by day the good and faithful. Thus some have now been in that rest for long, some not so long; others for fewer years, and others whose entrance therein is still less than recent. But when they shall wake from this sleep, they shall all together receive the fulfillment of the promise.

11. Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said His disciples— according to their understanding they replied— Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. For the sleep of the sick is usually a sign of returning health. Howbeit Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He spoke of the taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly,— for He said somewhat obscurely, He sleeps;— therefore He said plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe. I even know that he is dead, and I was not there: for he had been reported not as dead, but sick. But what could remain hid from Him who had created it, and into whose hands the soul of the dying man had departed? This is why He said, I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to thei ntent ye may believe; that they might now begin to wonder that the Lord could assert his death, which He had neither seen nor heard of. For here we ought specially to bear in mind that as yet the disciples themselves, who already believed in Him, had their faith built up by miracles: not that a faith, utterly wanting till then, might begin to exist; but that what had previously come into being might be increased; although He made use of such an expression as if only then they would begin to believe. For He said not, I am glad for your sakes, that your faith may be increased or confirmed; but, that you may believe; which is to be understood as meaning, that your faith may be fuller and more vigorous.

12. Nevertheless, let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, who is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with Him. Therefore Jesus came, and found that he had [lain] in the grave four days already. Much might be said of the four days, according to the wont of the obscure passages of Scripture, which bear as many senses as there is diversity of those who understand them. Let us express also our opinion of what is meant by one four days dead. For as in the former case of the blind man we understand in a way the human race, so in the case of this dead man many perhaps are also to be understood; for one thing may be signified by different figures. When a man is born, he is born already in a state of death; for he inherits sin from Adam. Hence the apostle says: By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so that passed upon all men, wherein all have sinned. Romans 5:12 Here you have one day of death because man inherits it from the seed stock of death. Thereafter he grows, and begins to approach the years of reason that he may know the law of nature, which every one has had implanted in his heart: What you would not have done to yourself, do not to another. Is this learned from the pages of a book, and not in a measure legible in our very nature? Have you any desire to be robbed? Certainly not. See here, then, the law in your heart: What you are unwilling to suffer, be unwilling to do. This law also is transgressed by men; and here, then, we have the second day of death. The law was also divinely given through Moses, the servant of God; and therein it is said, You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and mother; you shall not covet your neighbor's property; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. Exodus 20:12-17 Here you have the written law, and it also is despised: this is the third day of death. What remains? The gospel also comes, the kingdom of heaven is preached, Christ is everywhere published; He threatens hell, He promises eternal life; and that also is despised. Men transgress the gospel; and this is the fourth day of death. Now he deservedly stinks. But is mercy to be denied to such? God forbid; for to raise such also from the dead, the Lord thinks it not unfitting to come.

13. And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him; but Mary sat [still] in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if You had been here, my brother had not died. But I know that even now, whatsoever You will ask of God, God will give it You. She did not say, But even now I ask You to raise my brother to life again. For how could she know if such a resurrection would be of benefit to her brother? She only said, I know that You can, and whatsoever You are pleased, You do: for Your doing it is dependent on Your own judgment, not on my presumption. But even now I know that, whatsoever You will ask of God, God will give it You.

14. Jesus says unto her, Your brother shall rise again. This was ambiguous. For He said not, Even now I will raise your brother; but, Your brother shall rise again. Martha says unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day. Of that resurrection I am sure, but uncertain about this. Jesus says unto her, I am the resurrection. You say, My brother shall rise again at the last day: true; but by Him, through whom he shall rise then, can he rise even now, for I, He says, am the resurrection and the life. Give ear, brethren, give ear to what He says. Certainly the universal expectation of the bystanders was that Lazarus, one who had been dead four days, would live again; let us hear, and rise again. How many are there in this audience who are crushed down under the weighty mass of some sinful habit! Perhaps some are hearing me to whom it may be said, Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; Ephesians 5:18 and they say, We cannot. Some others, it may be, are hearing me, who are unclean, and stained with lusts and crimes, and to whom it is said, Refrain from such conduct, that you perish not; and they reply, We cannot give up our habits. O Lord, raise them again. I am, He says, the resurrection and the life. The resurrection because the life.

15. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. What means this? He that believes in me, though he were dead, just as Lazarus is dead, yet shall he live; for He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Such was the answer He gave the Jews concerning their fathers, long ago dead, that is, concerning Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto Him. Believe then, and though thou were dead, yet shall you live: but if you believe not, even while you live you are dead. Let us prove this likewise, that if you believe not, though you live you are dead. To one who was delaying to follow Him, and saying, Let me first go and bury my father, the Lord said, Let the dead bury their dead; but come thou and follow me.Matthew 8:21-22 There was there a dead man requiring to be buried, there were there also dead men to bury the dead: the one was dead in the flesh, the others in soul. And how comes death on the soul? When faith is wanting. How comes death on the body? When the soul is wanting. Therefore your soul's soul is faith. He that believes in me, says Christ, though he were dead in the flesh, yet shall he live in the spirit; till the flesh also rise again, never more to die. This is he that believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. And whosoever lives in the flesh, and believes in me, though he shall die in time on account of the death of the flesh, shall never die, because of the life of the spirit, and the immortality of the resurrection. Such is the meaning of the words, And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She says unto Him, Yea, Lord, I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who hast come into the world. When I believed this, I believed that You are the resurrection, that You are the life: I believed that he that believes in You, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever lives and believes in You, shall never die.

16. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister silently, saying, The Master has come, and calls for you. It is worthy of notice the way in which the whispering of her voice was denominated silence. For how could she be silent, when she said, The Master has come, and calls for you? It is also to be noticed why it is that the evangelist has not said where, or when, or how the Lord called for Mary; namely, that in order to preserve the brevity of the narrative, it may rather be understood from the words of Martha.

17. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto Him. For Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was still in that place where Martha met Him. The Jews, then, who were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily, and went out, followed her, saying, She goes unto the grave, to weep there. What cause had the evangelist to tell us this? To show us what it was that occasioned the numerous concourse of people to be there when Lazarus was raised to life. For the Jews, thinking that her reason for hastening away was to seek in weeping the solace of her grief, followed her; that the great miracle of one rising again who had been four days dead, might have the presence of many witnesses.

18. Then when Mary had come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping, who were with her, He groaned in the spirit, and troubled Himself, and said, Where have ye laid him? Something there is, did we but know it, that He has suggested to us by groaning in the spirit, and troubling Himself. For who could trouble Him ,save He Himself? Therefore, my brethren, first give heed here to the power that did so, and then look for the meaning. You are troubled against your will; Christ was troubled because He willed. Jesus hungered, it is true, but because He willed; Jesus slept, it is true, but because He willed; He was sorrowful, it is true, but because He willed; He died, it is true, but because He willed: in His own power it lay to be thus and thus affected or not. For the Word assumed soul and flesh, fitting on Himself our whole human nature in the oneness of His person. For the soul of the apostle was illuminated by the Word; so was the soul of Peter, the soul of Paul, of the other apostles, and the holy prophets—the souls of all were illuminated by the Word; but of none was it said, The Word was made flesh; of none was it said, I and the Father are one. The soul and flesh of Christ is one person with the Word of God, one Christ. And by this [Word] wherein resided the supreme power, was infirmity made use of at the beck of His will; and in this way He troubled Himself.

19. I have spoken of the power: look now to the meaning. It is a great criminal that is signified by that four days' death and burial. Why is it, then, that Christ troubles Himself, but to intimate to you how you ought to be troubled, when weighed down and crushed by so great a mass of iniquity? For here you have been looking to yourself, been seeing your own guilt, been reckoning for yourself: I have done this, and God has spared me; I have committed this, and He has borne with me; I have heard the gospel, and despised it; I have been baptized, and returned again to the same course: what am I doing? Whither am I going? How shall I escape? When you speak thus, Christ is already groaning; for your faith is groaning. In the voice of one who groans thus, there comes to light the hope of his rising again. If such faith is within, there is Christ groaning; for if there is faith in us, Christ is in us. For what else says the apostle: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith. Ephesians 3:17 Therefore your faith in Christ isChrist Himself in your heart. This is why He slept in the ship; and why, when His disciples were in danger and already on the verge of shipwreck, they came to Him and awoke Him. Christ arose, laid His commands on the winds and waves, and there ensued a great calm. Matthew 8:24-26 So also with you; the winds enter your heart, that is, where you sail, where you pass along this life as a stormy and dangerous sea; the winds enter, the billows rise and toss your vessel. What are the winds? You have received some insult, and are angry: that insult is the wind; that anger, the waves. You are in danger, you prepare to reply, to render cursing for cursing, and your vessel is already near to shipwreck. Awake the Christ who is sleeping. For you are in commotion, and making ready to render evil for evil, because Christ is sleeping in your vessel. For the sleep of Christ in your heart is the forgetfulness of faith. But if you arouse Christ, that is, recallest your faith, what do you hear said to you by Christ, when now awake in your heart? I [He says] have heard it said to me, You have a devil, and I have prayed for them. The Lord hears and suffers; the servant hears and is angry! But you wish to be avenged. Why so? I am already avenged. When your faith so speaks to you, command is exercised, as it were, over the winds and waves, and there is a great calm. As, then, to awaken Christ in the vessel is just to awaken faith; so in the heart of one who is pressed down by a great mass and habit of sin, in the heart of the man who has been a transgressor even of the holy gospel and a despiser of eternal punishment, let Christ groan, let such a man betake himself to self-accusation. Hear still more: Christ wept; let man bemoan himself. For why did Christ weep, but to teach man to weep? Wherefore did He groan and trouble Himself, but to intimate that the faith of one who has just cause to be displeased with himself ought to be in a sense groaning over the accusation of wicked works, to the end that the habit of sinning may give way to the vehemence of penitential sorrow?

20. And He said, Where have ye laid him? Thou knew that he was dead, and are You ignorant of the place of his burial? The meaning here is, that a man thus lost becomes, as it were, unknown to God. I have not ventured to say, Is unknown— for what is unknown to Him? But, As it were unknown. And how do we prove this? Listen to the Lord, who will yet say in the judgment, I know you not: depart from me. Matthew 7:23 What does that mean, I know you not? I see you not in that light of mine— in that righteousness which I know. So here, also, as if knowing nothing of such a sinner, He said, Where have ye laid him? Similar in character was God's voice in Paradise after man had sinned: Adam, where are you? Genesis 3:9 They say unto Him, Lord, come and see. What means this see? Have pity. For the Lord sees when He pities. Hence it is said to Him, Look upon my humility [affliction] and my pain, and forgive all my sins.

21. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him! Loved him, what does that mean? I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9:13 But some of them said, Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not die? But He, who would do nought to hinder his dying, had something greater in view in raising him from the dead.

22. Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself, comes to the tomb. May His groaning have you also for its object, if you would re-enter into life! Every man who lies in that dire moral condition has it said to him, He comes to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone had been laid upon it. Dead under that stone, guilty under the law. For you know that the law, which was given to the Jews, was inscribed on stone. Exodus 31:18 And all the guilty are under the law: the right-living are in harmony with the law. The law is not laid on a righteous man. 1 Timothy 1:9What mean then the words, Take ye away the stone? Preach grace. For the Apostle Paul calls himself a minister of the New Testament, not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter, he says, kills, but the spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6 The letter that kills is like the stone that crushes. Take ye away, He says, the stone. Take away the weight of the law; preach grace .For if there had been a law given, which could have given life, verily righteousness should be by the law. But the Scripture has concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christmight be given to them that believe. Galatians 3:21-22 Therefore take ye away the stone.

23. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, says unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been [dead] four days. Jesus says unto her, Have I not said unto you, that, if you believe, you shall see the glory of God? What does He mean by this, you shall see the glory of God? That He can raise to life even one who is putrid and has been four days [dead]. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 and, Where sin abounded, grace also did super abound. Romans 5:20

24. Then they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank You, that You have heard me. And I knew that You hear me always: but because of the people that stand by I said it, that they may believe that You have sent me. And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice. He groaned, He wept, He cried with a loud voice. With what difficulty does one rise who lies crushed under the heavy burden of a habit of sinning! And yet he does rise: he is quickened by hidden grace within; and after that loud voice he rises. For what followed? He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And immediately he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with bandages; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Do you wonder how he came forth with his feet bound, and wonderest not at this, that after four days' interment he rose from the dead? In both events it was the power of the Lord that operated, and not the strength of the dead. He came forth, and yet still was bound. Still in his burial shroud, he has already come outside the tomb. What does it mean? While you despise [Christ], you lie in the arms of death; and if your contempt reaches the lengths I have mentioned, you are buried as well: but when you make confession, you come forth. For what is this coming forth, but the open acknowledgment you make of your state, in quitting, as it were, the old refuges of darkness? But the confession you make is effected by God, when He cries with a loud voice, or in other words, calls you in abounding grace. Accordingly, when the dead man had come forth, still bound; confessing, yet guilty still; that his sins also might be taken away, the Lord said to His servants: Loose him, and let him go. What does He mean by such words? What so ever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 16:19

25. Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him. But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. All of the Jews who had come to Mary did not believe, but many of them did. But some of them, whether of the Jews who had come, or of those who had believed, went away to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done: whether in the way of conveying intelligence, in order that they also might believe, or rather in the spirit of treachery, to arouse their anger. But whoever were the parties, and whatever their motive, intelligence of these events was carried to the Pharisees.

26. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? But they did not say, Let us believe. For these abandoned men were more occupied in considering what evil they could do to effect His ruin, than in consulting for their own preservation: and yet they were afraid, and took counsel of a kind together. For they said, What do we? For this man does many miracles: if we let him thus alone, all men will believe in him; and the Romans shall come, and take away both our place and nation. They were afraid of losing their temporal possessions, and thought not of life eternal; and so they lost both. For the Romans, after our Lord's passion and entrance into glory, took from them both their place and nation, when they took the one by storm and transported the other: and now that also pursues them, which is said elsewhere, But the children of the kingdom shall go into outer darkness. Matthew 8:12 But this was what they feared, that if all believed on Christ, there would be none remaining to defend the city of God and the temple against the Romans; just because they had a feeling that Christ's teaching was directed against the temple itself and their own paternal laws.

27. And one of them, [named] Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, You know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spoke he not of himself; but being high priest that year, he prophesied. We are here taught that the Spirit of prophecy used the agency even of wicked men to foretell what was future; which, however, the evangelistattributes to the divine sacramental fact that he was pontiff, which is to say, the high priest. It may, however, be a question in what way he is called the high priest of that year, seeing that God appointed one person to be high priest, who was to be succeeded only at his death by another. But we are to understand that ambitious schemes and contentions among the Jews led to the appointment afterwards of more than one, and to their annual turn of service. For it is said also of Zacharias: And it came to pass that, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. Luke 1:8-9 From which it is evident that there were more than one, and that each had his turn: for it was lawful for the high priest alone to place the incense on the altar. Exodus 30:7 And perhaps also there were several in actual service in the same year, who were succeeded next year by several others, and that it fell by lot to one of them to burn incense. What was it, then, that Caiaphas prophesied? That Jesus should die for the nation; and not for the nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. This is added by the evangelist; for Caiaphas prophesied only of the Jewish nation, in which there were sheep of whom the Lord Himself had said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 15:24 But the evangelist knew that there were other sheep, which were not of this fold, but which had also to be brought, that there might be one fold and one shepherd. But this was said in the way of predestination; for those who were still unbelieving were as yet neither His sheep nor the children of God.

28. Then, from that day forth, they took counsel together for to put Him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with His disciples. Not that there was any failure in His power, by which, had He only wished, He might have continued His intercourse with the Jews, and received no injury at their hands; but in His human weakness He furnished His disciples with an example of living, by which He might make it manifest that it was no sin in His believing ones, who are His members, to withdraw from the presence of their persecutors, and escape the fury of the wicked by concealment, rather than inflame it by showing themselves openly.

---

[1] The name comes from the Hebrew  El'asar = God has helped; the one who is assisted by God

[2] Bethany : This name derives from the Hebrew and is composed of two words of which the first is Beth (which is also the name of the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet ) .

" Beth " means home (or place), expresses the idea of ​​something that contains and is the archetype of all the houses, the house of God and man, the sanctuary. It means a place of holiness on earth.

The second Hebrew word “ania” would come from a Hebrew word that means both palm and poverty, poor, or mercy, grace or blessings. Christ goes by his friend Lazarus at Bethany and a few days later leaves Bethany and goes to Jerusalem (the distance between the two places is about 3 kilometers) on a donkey, accompanied by a crowd that greeted him with palm branches. This confirms the presence of palm trees in this place and confirms the etymology of the name. Symbolically, the palm is a sign of fertility and with its dates of food, but it is also the symbol of justice, justice of reparation for the bitter taste that is suggested by its Hebrew name "Tamar". " Ania" may also come from " Ananias " = Yahweh is merciful or Hannah, grace and blessing. So we can interpret”Bethany” as the house of mercy, of grace and blessing.


18 posted on 04/05/2014 9:32:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thank you for these posts during Lent!


19 posted on 04/06/2014 5:36:08 AM PDT by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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To: johngrace

You are welcome.


20 posted on 04/06/2014 7:09:49 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY

The Confession of Lazarus

Fr. Paul Scalia

“Untie him and let him go” (Jn 11:45). Our Lord’s words after raising Lazarus should sound somewhat familiar to us. Familiar, not because we hear them often, but because they resemble other words we should hear often: “I absolve you from your sins …” To “absolve” means to set free — to loose, unbind … untie. Our sins become chains that bind us in death, like the burial cloths of Lazarus. We also need to have them removed, to be untied. These similarities suggest that the entire account of Lazarus’ raising provides a way of understanding the sacrament of penance. Indeed, we can find in the story the three necessary ingredients of a good confession.

First, sorrow. The story begins with great sadness. Martha and Mary and the Jews from Jerusalem all weep at the death of Lazarus. So, the first step in a good confession is sorrow for our sins. Without this, nothing else matters. The crowds mourned the death of Lazarus. We should mourn the death of our souls, the death of Christ’s life within us. The most significant sadness in the Gospel story is our Lord’s. He wept at the tomb of Lazarus. St. Augustine explains that our Lord weeps to teach us to weep for our sins: “Christ wept: let man weep for himself. For why did Christ weep but to teach men to weep?” Blessed are those who mourn.

 

Of course, Penance does not require literal weeping. Tears are not obligatory. It does, however, require a sincere contrition for our sins — the rejection of them out of love of God, or at least out of fear of punishment. And with sorrow for sin must also come the resolution not to sin again. This is why the priest asks for the Act of Contrition in the confessional — not to test you on the prayer but to ensure that you possess at least the minimum degree of contrition.

Second, confession. Our Lord asks, “Where have you laid him?” (Jn 11:34) Now, He knew full well where Lazarus was buried. He did not need them to show Him the tomb. But by asking this, He calls more trust and faith out of them. He wants them to show Him the place of death and hopelessness — where it hurts the most. And unless they take Him there, they will not witness His miracle. Notice that they do not say, “Go find it yourself.” They say, “Sir, come and see” (Jn 11:34). They bring Life Himself to that place of death.

When we confess our sins, we, in effect, bring Jesus to our place of death, where life has been buried by sin. Yes, He knows our sins already — indeed, better than we do. By confessing our sins — by naming them in the sacrament — we hand them over to Him and give Him authority over them. We bring Jesus to the tomb of our souls — to that place of death called sin. “Come and see,” the people said to our Lord (Jn 11:34). By naming our sins — both the kind and the number — we do likewise, giving Him authority to destroy the bonds of death within us.

Third, penance. It is Our Lord alone Who raises Lazarus from the dead. But notice that for His power to realize its purpose, He enlists the cooperation of others. “Take away the stone,” He commands them (Jn 11:39). And afterwards He says (to interpret the words another way), “Untie him and let him go.” Consider how difficult these commands were to obey. Martha objects to the first command: “Lord, by now there will be a stench” (Jn 11:39). And untying the formerly dead man was probably not very appealing either. Nevertheless, Our Lord’s divine work of raising Lazarus incorporates their human cooperation.

So, also, our acts of penance. God alone forgives sins through the ministry of the priest. He alone restores souls to life. But for His grace to work fruitfully in our souls, we need to cooperate. We need to do our penance. Thus the purpose of the penance is not to win forgiveness — God alone grants that, and freely — but to bring us into cooperation with the healing He desires for us. It is medicinal. The more we embrace our penances and perform them in faith, the more healing they bring us.

Our Lord did not raise all the dead as He did Lazarus. And even poor Lazarus died again. His miracle involves more than mere physical resuscitation. It points to that greater, spiritual reality we experience when we kneel in death and rise in hope.

Fr. Scalia is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s delegate for clergy.


21 posted on 04/06/2014 7:14:14 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

I’ll Take Back what the Devil Stole from Me. A Homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

In today’s Gospel, we hear the story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. The story is a significant turning point in the ministry of Jesus, for as we shall see, it is because of this incident that the Temple leadership in Jerusalem resolves to have Jesus killed.

As is proper with all the gospel accounts, we must not see this as merely an historical happening of some two thousand years ago. Rather, we must recall that we are Lazarus; we are Martha and Mary. This is also the story of how Jesus is acting in our life.

Let’s look at this Gospel in stages and learn how the Lord acts to save us and raise us to new life. This gospel has six stages that describe what Jesus does to save us.

I. HE PERMITS. Sometimes there are trials in our life, by God’s mysterious design, to bring us to greater things. The Lord permits these trials and difficulties for various reasons. But, if we are faithful, every trial is ultimately for our glory and the glory of God. The text says,

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary, and her sister Martha. Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and dried his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill. So the sisters sent word to him saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Notice therefore that Jesus does not rush to prevent the illness of Lazarus. Rather, he permits it for now in order that something greater, God’s Glory in Jesus, be manifest. In addition, it is for Lazarus’ own good and his share in God’s glory.

It is this way with us as well. We do not always understand what God is up to in our life. His ways are often mysterious, even troubling to us. But our faith teaches us that his mysterious permission of our difficulties is ultimately for our good and for our glory.

Scripture says,

  1. Rejoice in this. You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials. But this so that your faith, more precious than any fire-tried gold, may lead to praise, honor, and glory when Jesus Christ appears. (1 Peter 1: 10)
  2. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. (Job 23:10)
  3. For our light and momentary troubles are producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Cor 4:17-18)

An old gospel hymn says,Trials dark on every hand, and we cannot understand, all the way that God will lead us to that blessed promised land. But He guides us with his eye and we follow till we die, and we’ll understand it better, by and by. By and by, when the morning comes, and all the saints of God are gathered home, we’ll tell the story of how we’ve overcome, and we’ll understand it better by and by.”

For now, it is enough for us to know that God permits our struggles for a season and for a reason.

II. HE PAUSES. Here to we confront a mystery. Sometimes God says, “Wait.” Again, this is to prepare us for greater things than those for which we ask. The text says,

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was.

Note that the text says that Jesus waits because he loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus. This of course is paradoxical since we expect love to make one rush to the aid of the afflicted.

Yet Scripture often counsels us to wait.

  1. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. (Ps 27:14)
  2. For thus says the Lord God, the holy one of Israel, “By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet an in trust, your strength lies. (Isaiah 30:15)
  3. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance…God’s patience is directed to our salvation. (2 Pet 3:9)

Thus, somehow our waiting is tied to strengthening us and preparing us for something greater. Ultimately, we need God’s patience in order for us to come to full repentance; so it may not be wise to ask God to rush things. Yet still his delay often mystifies us, especially when the need is urgent.

Note too how Jesus’ delay here enables something even greater to take place. For, it is one thing to heal an ailing man. It is another and greater thing to raise a man who has been dead four days. To use an analogy, Jesus is preparing a meal. Do you want a microwave dinner or a great feast? Great feasts take longer to prepare. Jesus delays but he’s preparing something great.

For ourselves we can only ask for the grace to hold out. An old gospel song says, “Lord help me to hold out, until my change comes.” Another song says, “Hold on just a little while longer, everything’s gonna be all right.”

III. HE PAYS. Despite the design of God and his apparent delay, he is determined to bless us and save us. Jesus is determined to go and help Lazarus even though he puts himself in great danger in doing so. Notice in the following text how the apostles are anxious about going to Judea. For it is a fact that some there are plotting to kill Jesus. In order to help Lazarus, Jesus must put himself at great risk. The Text says,

Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go back there?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in a day? If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” He said this, and then told them, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him.” So the disciples said to him, “Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.” But Jesus was talking about his death, while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep. So then Jesus said to them clearly, “Lazarus has died. And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe. Let us go to him.” So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go to die with him.

We must never forget the price that Jesus has paid for our healing and salvation. Scripture says, “You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Pet 1:18).

Indeed, the apostles’ concerns are borne out when we see that because Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Temple leaders from that point on plot to kill him (cf John 11:53). It is of course dripping with irony that they should plot to kill Jesus for raising a man from the dead. We can only thank the Lord who, for our sake, endured even death on a cross to purchase our salvation by his own blood.

IV. HE PRESCRIBES. The Lord will die to save us. But there is only one way that saving love can reach us and that is through our faith. Faith opens the door to God’s blessings and it is a door we must open by God’s grace. Thus Jesus inquires into the faith of Martha and later that of Mary. The text says,

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “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. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.

Jesus prescribes faith because there is no other way. Our faith and our soul are more important to God than our bodies and creature comforts. For what good is it to gain the whole world and lose our soul? We tend to focus on physical things like our bodies, our health, and our possessions. But God focuses on the spiritual things. And so before raising Lazarus and dispelling grief, Jesus checks the condition of Martha’s faith and elicits an act of faith: “Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord, I have come to believe.”

Scripture connects faith to seeing and experiencing great things.

  1. All things are possible to him who believes. Mk 9:23
  2. If you had faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible for you.” (Mt 17:20)
  3. And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matt 13:58)
  4. When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you.” (Mat 9:28)

So Jesus has just asked you and me a question: “Do you believe this?” And how will you answer? Now be careful. I know how we should answer. But how do we really and truthfully answer?

V. HE IS PASSIONATE. Coming upon the scene Jesus is described as deeply moved, as perturbed, as weeping. The text says,

When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?” So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.”

In his human heart, Jesus experiences the full force of the loss and the blow that death delivers. That he weeps is something of mystery since he will raise Lazarus in moments. But for this moment, Jesus enters and experiences grief and loss with us. Its full force comes over him and he weeps; so much so that the bystanders say, “See how much he loved him.”

But there is more going on here. The English text also describes Jesus as being perturbed. The Greek word here is Greek word ἐμβριμάομαι (embrimaomai), which means literally to snort with anger, to have great indignation. It is a very strong word, and it includes the notion of being moved to admonish sternly. What is this anger of Jesus and at whom is it directed? It is hard to know exactly, but the best answer would seem to be that he is angry at death, and at what sin has done. For it was by sin that suffering and death entered the world. It is almost as though Jesus is on the front lines of the battle and has a focused anger against Satan and what he has done. For Scripture says, by the envy of the devil death entered the world. (Wisdom 2:23). And God has said, “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ez 33:11).

I do remember at the death of some of my loved ones, experiencing not only sorrow, but also anger. Death should NOT be. But there it is; it glares back at us, taunts us, and pursues us.

Yes, Jesus experiences the full range of what we do. And out of his sorrow and anger, he is moved to act on our behalf. God’s wrath is his passion to set things right. And Jesus is about to act.

VI. HE PREVAILS. In the end, Jesus always wins. And you can go to the end of the Bible and see that Jesus wins there too. You might just as well get on the winning team. He will not be overcome by Satan, even when all seems lost. God is a good God; he is a great God; he can do anything but fail. Jesus can make a way out of no way. The text says,

He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go free.”

I have it on the best of authority that as Lazarus came out of the tomb he was singing a gospel song: “Faithful is our God! I’m reaping the harvest God promised me, take back what devil stole from me, and I rejoice today, for I shall recover it all!”

But notice something important here. Although Jesus raises Lazarus, and gives him new life, Jesus also commands the bystanders (this means you and me) to untie Lazarus and let him go free. So Christ raises us, but he has work for the Church to do: to untie those he has raised in Baptism, and to let them go free.

To have a personal relationship with Jesus is crucial, but it is also essential to have a relationship to the Church. For after raising Lazarus (us), Jesus entrusts him to the care of others. Jesus speaks to the Church – to parents, priests, catechists, all members of the Church – and gives this standing order regarding the souls he has raised to new life: “Untie them and let them go free.”

We are Lazarus and we were dead in our sin. But we have been raised to new life. And yet we can still be bound by the effects of sin. And this is why we need the sacraments, Scripture, prayer, and other ministry of the Church through catechesis, preaching, and teaching. Lazarus’ healing wasn’t a “one and you’re done” scenario, and neither is ours.

We are also the bystanders.  And just as we are in need of being untied and set free, so we who are also members of the Church also have this obligation to others. Parents and elders must untie their children and let them go free by God’s grace, and so pastors must do with their flocks. As a priest, I too have realized how my people have helped to untie me and let me go free, how they have strengthened my faith, encouraged me, admonished me, and restored me.

This is the Lord’s mandate to the Church regarding every soul he has raised: “Untie him and let him go free.” This is the Lord’s work, but just as Jesus involved the bystanders then, he still involves the Church (which includes us) now.

Yes, faithful is our God. I shall recover it all.

The artwork above is from the ancient mosaics at Ravenna.

This is the song Lazarus sang as he came forth (I have it on the best of authority).


22 posted on 04/06/2014 7:28:55 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Year A  -  5th Sunday of Lent

I am the resurrection and the life

John 11:1-45

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill.
3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, "Lord, he whom you love is ill."
4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."
5 Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus,
6 after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7 Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."
8 The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?"
9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world.
10 But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them."
11 After saying this, he told them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him."
12 The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right."
13 Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep.
14 Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead.
15 For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
16 Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.
18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away,
19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home.
21 Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him."
23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,
26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world."
28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you."
29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him.
30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
31 The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.
34 He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see."
35 Jesus began to weep.
36 So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"
38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.
39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days."
40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me.
42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me."
43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

"I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

I said this before I called the power of God in me as His begotten Son, to illustrate with facts the integrity of my words. I am the one who gives life. First I have favored everyone with temporal life on this earth, but after the death of the body, I give eternal spiritual life from the moment of the resurrection.

I had opened the eyes of the blind, I had opened the ears of the deaf, I had loosened the tongues of the mute, I had made the paralytic walk, I had healed the lepers and many others who were sick with all kinds of diseases, I had also cast out evil spirits from those who were possessed. By all those miracles I confirmed my power to reverse the evils that come to men, but I wanted mostly to impress upon your minds the reality of the sickness of the soul, which is reflected in the body, so that you could learn from me and put all your trust in me.

The worst thing that can happen to the life of the body is death; therefore I performed this miracle of returning life to make you understand that I am truly the resurrection and the life.

Blessed is the man who puts his trust in my words, he is like a tree planted by the edge of the river, his roots extend to the living waters of life, he will have nothing to fear when tribulation comes, he will produce good fruit every day of his life. He will always be my delight.

My heavenly Father has given his testimony to the world through the continuous manifestation of creation. I the Word of God, His Son; came to the world to give my own testimony. As a man I demonstrated that you are all made in God’s image. In human words I invited all to follow me and I offered my salvation to everyone. I did not come to condemn but to forgive; I came to save those who accept me as their Savior and Lord.

As a last offering to all of you I offered my life to the Father as the sacrifice to take away the sins of the world.

Put all your trust in me if you desire eternal life, because I am the resurrection and the life.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


23 posted on 04/06/2014 7:33:33 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday Gospel Reflections

5th Sunday of Lent
Reading I: Ezekiel 37:12-14 II: Romans 8:8-11


Gospel
John 11:1-45

1 Now a certain man was ill, Laz'arus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Laz'arus was ill.
3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill."
4 But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it."
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Laz'arus.
6 So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
7 Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go into Judea again."
8 The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?"
9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
10 But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."
11 Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, "Our friend Laz'arus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep."
12 The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."
13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.
14 Then Jesus told them plainly, "Laz'arus is dead;
15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
16 Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Laz'arus had already been in the tomb four days.
18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off,
19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house.
21 Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you."
23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
26 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world."
28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying quietly, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you."
29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.
31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
32 Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled;
34 and he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see."
35 Jesus wept.
36 So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days."
40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"
41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that thou didst send me."
43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Laz'arus, come out."
44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him;


Interesting Details
One Main Point

Jesus is the resurrection and the life.


Reflections

  1. Some believe, some decide to kill Jesus when they see the miracle. What is my reaction?
  2. Do I believe that Jesus gives me life? Do I have any experience of it?
  3. Sometimes God delays actions while suffering and death happen. Have I experienced that delay? Do I then have faith in God? Is my suffering connected to Jesus' cross and thus to the glory of God?

24 posted on 04/06/2014 7:38:02 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, April 06, 2014
Fifth Sunday of Lent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Ezekiel 37:12-14
Psalm 130:1-8
Romans 8:8-11
John 11:1-45 or John 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33-45

The Christian life is a continuation and completion of the life of Christ in us. We should be so many Christs here on earth, continuing His life and His works, laboring and suffering in a holy and divine manner in the spirit of Jesus.

-- St. John Eudes


25 posted on 04/06/2014 7:39:59 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

26 posted on 04/06/2014 7:42:11 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


27 posted on 04/06/2014 7:44:08 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. William of Eskilsoe

Feast Day: April 6

Born: 1125 at Paris, France

Died: 6 April (Easter Sunday) 1203 in Denmark

Canonized: 21 January 1224 by Pope Honorius III

28 posted on 04/06/2014 8:41:15 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Intractive Saints for Kids

 

Blessed Notker

Feast Day: April 06

This Benedictine monk had once been a sickly child. He had a very noticeable speech impediment all his life. Notker was determined not to let it get in his way. This made him even more likable than he already was.

He and two other friends, Tutilo and Radpert, were very happy monks. They encouraged each other in their vocations at the monastery of Saint Gall in Germany. Their common love for God and for music made them lifelong friends. You can read about St. Tutilo on March 28.

King Charles visited the great monastery from time to time. He highly respected Notker and asked him for advice. Unfortunately, he didn't usually follow the advice. One time King Charles sent his messenger to ask to see the monk. Notker was taking care of his garden. He sent this message: "Take care of your garden as I am taking care of mine." King Charles understood that he should be taking better care of his own soul and of his kingdom.

The king's personal chaplain was educated but very conceited. He was upset because the king valued Notker's opinion so much. In front of everybody at court one day, he asked Notker, "Since you are so intelligent, tell me what God is doing right now." The priest smiled at the monk, thinking he would never have an answer. Instead, Notker responded quickly, "God is doing now what he has always done. He is pushing down those who are proud and is raising up the lowly." The people started laughing as the chaplain quickly left the room.

Blessed Notker spent the rest of his life in his chosen vocation. He did many little extra things to make monastery life pleasant for the monks. With his friends, Tutilo and Radpert, he created beautiful music for the worship of God.

Reflection: "God is doing now what he has always done. He is pushing down those who are proud and is raising up the lowly."-Blessed Notker


29 posted on 04/06/2014 8:58:40 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 11
1 NOW there was a certain man sick, named Lazarus, of Bethania, of the town of Mary and Martha her sister. Erat autem quidem languens Lazarus a Bethania, de castello Mariæ et Marthæ sororis ejus. ην δε τις ασθενων λαζαρος απο βηθανιας εκ της κωμης μαριας και μαρθας της αδελφης αυτης
2 (And Mary was she that anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair: whose brother Lazarus was sick.) (Maria autem erat quæ unxit Dominum unguento, et extersit pedes ejus capillis suis : cujus frater Lazarus infirmabatur.) ην δε μαρια η αλειψασα τον κυριον μυρω και εκμαξασα τους ποδας αυτου ταις θριξιν αυτης ης ο αδελφος λαζαρος ησθενει
3 His sisters therefore sent to him, saying: Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. Miserunt ergo sorores ejus ad eum dicentes : Domine, ecce quem amas infirmatur. απεστειλαν ουν αι αδελφαι προς αυτον λεγουσαι κυριε ιδε ον φιλεις ασθενει
4 And Jesus hearing it, said to them: This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God: that the Son of God may be glorified by it. Audiens autem Jesus dixit eis : Infirmitas hæc non est ad mortem, sed pro gloria Dei, ut glorificetur Filius Dei per eam. ακουσας δε ο ιησους ειπεν αυτη η ασθενεια ουκ εστιν προς θανατον αλλ υπερ της δοξης του θεου ινα δοξασθη ο υιος του θεου δι αυτης
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. Diligebat autem Jesus Martham, et sororem ejus Mariam, et Lazarum. ηγαπα δε ο ιησους την μαρθαν και την αδελφην αυτης και τον λαζαρον
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he still remained in the same place two days. Ut ergo audivit quia infirmabatur, tunc quidem mansit in eodem loco duobus diebus ; ως ουν ηκουσεν οτι ασθενει τοτε μεν εμεινεν εν ω ην τοπω δυο ημερας
7 Then after that, he said to his disciples: Let us go into Judea again. deinde post hæc dixit discipulis suis : Eamus in Judæam iterum. επειτα μετα τουτο λεγει τοις μαθηταις αγωμεν εις την ιουδαιαν παλιν
8 The disciples say to him: Rabbi, the Jews but now sought to stone thee: and goest thou thither again? Dicunt ei discipuli : Rabbi, nunc quærebant te Judæi lapidare, et iterum vadis illuc ? λεγουσιν αυτω οι μαθηται ραββι νυν εζητουν σε λιθασαι οι ιουδαιοι και παλιν υπαγεις εκει
9 Jesus answered: Are there not twelve hours of the day? If a man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world: Respondit Jesus : Nonne duodecim sunt horæ diei ? Si quis ambulaverit in die, non offendit, quia lucem hujus mundi videt : απεκριθη ιησους ουχι δωδεκα εισιν ωραι της ημερας εαν τις περιπατη εν τη ημερα ου προσκοπτει οτι το φως του κοσμου τουτου βλεπει
10 But if he walk in the night, he stumbleth, because the light is not in him. si autem ambulaverit in nocte, offendit, quia lux non est in eo. εαν δε τις περιπατη εν τη νυκτι προσκοπτει οτι το φως ουκ εστιν εν αυτω
11 These things he said; and after that he said to them: Lazarus our friend sleepeth; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep. Hæc ait, et post hæc dixit eis : Lazarus amicus noster dormit : sed vado ut a somno excitem eum. ταυτα ειπεν και μετα τουτο λεγει αυτοις λαζαρος ο φιλος ημων κεκοιμηται αλλα πορευομαι ινα εξυπνισω αυτον
12 His disciples therefore said: Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Dixerunt ergo discipuli ejus : Domine, si dormit, salvus erit. ειπον ουν οι μαθηται αυτου κυριε ει κεκοιμηται σωθησεται
13 But Jesus spoke of his death; and they thought that he spoke of the repose of sleep. Dixerat autem Jesus de morte ejus : illi autem putaverunt quia de dormitione somni diceret. ειρηκει δε ο ιησους περι του θανατου αυτου εκεινοι δε εδοξαν οτι περι της κοιμησεως του υπνου λεγει
14 Then therefore Jesus said to them plainly: Lazarus is dead. Tunc ergo Jesus dixit eis manifeste : Lazarus mortuus est : τοτε ουν ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους παρρησια λαζαρος απεθανεν
15 And I am glad, for your sakes, that I was not there, that you may believe: but let us go to him. et gaudeo propter vos, ut credatis, quoniam non eram ibi, sed eamus ad eum. και χαιρω δι υμας ινα πιστευσητε οτι ουκ ημην εκει αλλα αγωμεν προς αυτον
16 Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples: Let us also go, that we may die with him. Dixit ergo Thomas, qui dicitur Didymus, ad condiscipulos : Eamus et nos, ut moriamur cum eo. ειπεν ουν θωμας ο λεγομενος διδυμος τοις συμμαθηταις αγωμεν και ημεις ινα αποθανωμεν μετ αυτου
17 Jesus therefore came, and found that he had been four days already in the grave. Venit itaque Jesus : et invenit eum quatuor dies jam in monumento habentem. ελθων ουν ο ιησους ευρεν αυτον τεσσαρας ημερας ηδη εχοντα εν τω μνημειω
18 (Now Bethania was near Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off.) (Erat autem Bethania juxta Jerosolymam quasi stadiis quindecim.) ην δε η βηθανια εγγυς των ιεροσολυμων ως απο σταδιων δεκαπεντε
19 And many of the Jews were come to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Multi autem ex Judæis venerant ad Martham et Mariam, ut consolarentur eas de fratre suo. και πολλοι εκ των ιουδαιων εληλυθεισαν προς τας περι μαρθαν και μαριαν ινα παραμυθησωνται αυτας περι του αδελφου αυτων
20 Martha therefore, as soon as she heard that Jesus had come, went to meet him: but Mary sat at home. Martha ergo ut audivit quia Jesus venit, occurrit illi : Maria autem domi sedebat. η ουν μαρθα ως ηκουσεν οτι ιησους ερχεται υπηντησεν αυτω μαρια δε εν τω οικω εκαθεζετο
21 Martha therefore said to Jesus: Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Dixit ergo Martha ad Jesum : Domine, si fuisses hic, frater meus non fuisset mortuus : ειπεν ουν μαρθα προς τον ιησουν κυριε ει ης ωδε ο αδελφος μου ουκ αν ετεθνηκει
22 But now also I know that whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. sed et nunc scio quia quæcumque poposceris a Deo, dabit tibi Deus. αλλα και νυν οιδα οτι οσα αν αιτηση τον θεον δωσει σοι ο θεος
23 Jesus saith to her: Thy brother shall rise again. Dicit illi Jesus : Resurget frater tuus. λεγει αυτη ο ιησους αναστησεται ο αδελφος σου
24 Martha saith to him: I know that he shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day. Dicit ei Martha : Scio quia resurget in resurrectione in novissimo die. λεγει αυτω μαρθα οιδα οτι αναστησεται εν τη αναστασει εν τη εσχατη ημερα
25 Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live: Dixit ei Jesus : Ego sum resurrectio et vita : qui credit in me, etiam si mortuus fuerit, vivet : ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
26 And every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever. Believest thou this? et omnis qui vivit et credit in me, non morietur in æternum. Credis hoc ? και πας ο ζων και πιστευων εις εμε ου μη αποθανη εις τον αιωνα πιστευεις τουτο
27 She saith to him: Yea, Lord, I have believed that thou art Christ the Son of the living God, who art come into this world. Ait illi : Utique Domine, ego credidi quia tu es Christus, Filius Dei vivi, qui in hunc mundum venisti. λεγει αυτω ναι κυριε εγω πεπιστευκα οτι συ ει ο χριστος ο υιος του θεου ο εις τον κοσμον ερχομενος
28 And when she had said these things, she went, and called her sister Mary secretly, saying: The master is come, and calleth for thee. Et cum hæc dixisset, abiit, et vocavit Mariam sororem suam silentio, dicens : Magister adest, et vocat te. και ταυτα ειπουσα απηλθεν και εφωνησεν μαριαν την αδελφην αυτης λαθρα ειπουσα ο διδασκαλος παρεστιν και φωνει σε
29 She, as soon as she heard this, riseth quickly, and cometh to him. Illa ut audivit, surgit cito, et venit ad eum ; εκεινη ως ηκουσεν εγειρεται ταχυ και ερχεται προς αυτον
30 For Jesus was not yet come into the town: but he was still in that place where Martha had met him. nondum enim venerat Jesus in castellum : sed erat adhuc in illo loco, ubi occurrerat ei Martha. ουπω δε εληλυθει ο ιησους εις την κωμην αλλ ην εν τω τοπω οπου υπηντησεν αυτω η μαρθα
31 The Jews therefore, who were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary that she rose up speedily and went out, followed her, saying: She goeth to the grave to weep there. Judæi ergo, qui erant cum ea in domo, et consolabantur eam, cum vidissent Mariam quia cito surrexit, et exiit, secuti sunt eam dicentes : Quia vadit ad monumentum, ut ploret ibi. οι ουν ιουδαιοι οι οντες μετ αυτης εν τη οικια και παραμυθουμενοι αυτην ιδοντες την μαριαν οτι ταχεως ανεστη και εξηλθεν ηκολουθησαν αυτη λεγοντες οτι υπαγει εις το μνημειον ινα κλαυση εκει
32 When Mary therefore was come where Jesus was, seeing him, she fell down at his feet, and saith to him: Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Maria ergo, cum venisset ubi erat Jesus, videns eum, cecidit ad pedes ejus, et dicit ei : Domine, si fuisses hic, non esset mortuus frater meus. η ουν μαρια ως ηλθεν οπου ην ο ιησους ιδουσα αυτον επεσεν αυτου εις τους ποδας λεγουσα αυτω κυριε ει ης ωδε ουκ αν απεθανεν μου ο αδελφος
33 Jesus, therefore, when he saw her weeping, and the Jews that were come with her, weeping, groaned in the spirit, and troubled himself, Jesus ergo, ut vidit eam plorantem, et Judæos, qui venerant cum ea, plorantes, infremuit spiritu, et turbavit seipsum, ιησους ουν ως ειδεν αυτην κλαιουσαν και τους συνελθοντας αυτη ιουδαιους κλαιοντας ενεβριμησατο τω πνευματι και εταραξεν εαυτον
34 And said: Where have you laid him? They say to him: Lord, come and see. et dixit : Ubi posuistis eum ? Dicunt ei : Domine, veni, et vide. και ειπεν που τεθεικατε αυτον λεγουσιν αυτω κυριε ερχου και ιδε
35 And Jesus wept. Et lacrimatus est Jesus. εδακρυσεν ο ιησους
36 The Jews therefore said: Behold how he loved him. Dixerunt ergo Judæi : Ecce quomodo amabat eum. ελεγον ουν οι ιουδαιοι ιδε πως εφιλει αυτον
37 But some of them said: Could not he that opened the eyes of the man born blind, have caused that this man should not die? Quidam autem ex ipsis dixerunt : Non poterat hic, qui aperuit oculos cæci nati, facere ut hic non moreretur ? τινες δε εξ αυτων ειπον ουκ ηδυνατο ουτος ο ανοιξας τους οφθαλμους του τυφλου ποιησαι ινα και ουτος μη αποθανη
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself, cometh to the sepulchre. Now it was a cave; and a stone was laid over it. Jesus ergo rursum fremens in semetipso, venit ad monumentum. Erat autem spelunca, et lapis superpositus erat ei. ιησους ουν παλιν εμβριμωμενος εν εαυτω ερχεται εις το μνημειον ην δε σπηλαιον και λιθος επεκειτο επ αυτω
39 Jesus saith: Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith to him: Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he is now of four days. Ait Jesus : Tollite lapidem. Dicit ei Martha, soror ejus qui mortuus fuerat : Domine, jam fœtet, quatriduanus est enim. λεγει ο ιησους αρατε τον λιθον λεγει αυτω η αδελφη του τεθνηκοτος μαρθα κυριε ηδη οζει τεταρταιος γαρ εστιν
40 Jesus saith to her: Did not I say to thee, that if thou believe, thou shalt see the glory of God? Dicit ei Jesus : Nonne dixi tibi quoniam si credideris, videbis gloriam Dei ? λεγει αυτη ο ιησους ουκ ειπον σοι οτι εαν πιστευσης οψει την δοξαν του θεου
41 They took therefore the stone away. And Jesus lifting up his eyes said: Father, I give thee thanks that thou hast heard me. Tulerunt ergo lapidem : Jesus autem, elevatis sursum oculis, dixit : Pater, gratias ago tibi quoniam audisti me. ηραν ουν τον λιθον ου ην ο τεθνηκως κειμενος ο δε ιησους ηρεν τους οφθαλμους ανω και ειπεν πατερ ευχαριστω σοι οτι ηκουσας μου
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people who stand about have I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. Ego autem sciebam quia semper me audis, sed propter populum qui circumstat, dixi : ut credant quia tu me misisti. εγω δε ηδειν οτι παντοτε μου ακουεις αλλα δια τον οχλον τον περιεστωτα ειπον ινα πιστευσωσιν οτι συ με απεστειλας
43 When he had said these things, he cried with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth. Hæc cum dixisset, voce magna clamavit : Lazare, veni foras. και ταυτα ειπων φωνη μεγαλη εκραυγασεν λαζαρε δευρο εξω
44 And presently he that had been dead came forth, bound feet and hands with winding bands; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said to them: Loose him, and let him go. Et statim prodiit qui fuerat mortuus, ligatus pedes, et manus institis, et facies illius sudario erat ligata. Dixit eis Jesus : Solvite eum et sinite abire. και εξηλθεν ο τεθνηκως δεδεμενος τους ποδας και τας χειρας κειριαις και η οψις αυτου σουδαριω περιεδεδετο λεγει αυτοις ο ιησους λυσατε αυτον και αφετε υπαγειν
45 Many therefore of the Jews, who were come to Mary and Martha, and had seen the things that Jesus did, believed in him. Multi ergo ex Judæis, qui venerant ad Mariam, et Martham, et viderant quæ fecit Jesus, crediderunt in eum. πολλοι ουν εκ των ιουδαιων οι ελθοντες προς την μαριαν και θεασαμενοι α εποιησεν ο ιησους επιστευσαν εις αυτον

30 posted on 04/06/2014 9:37:30 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3. Therefore his sisters sent to him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick.
4. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

BEDE. After our Lord had departed to the other side of Jordan, it happened that Lazarus fell sick: A certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany. In some copies the copulative conjunction precedes, to mark the connection with the words preceding. Lazarus signifies helped. Of all the dead which our Lord raised, he was most helped, for he had lain dead four days, when our Lord raised him to life.

AUG. The resurrection of Lazarus is more spoken of than any of our Lord's miracles. But if we hear in mind who He was who wrought this miracle, we shall feel not so much of wonder; as of delight. He who made the man, raised the man; and it is a greater thing to create a man, than to revive him. Lazarus was sick at Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. The place was near Jerusalem.

ALCUIN. And as there were many women of this name, He distinguishes her by her well-known act: It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick

CHRYS. First we are to observe that this was not the harlot mentioned in Luke, but an honest woman, who treated our Lord with marked reverence.

AUG. John here confirms the passage in Luke, where this is said to have taken place in the house of one Simon a Pharisee: Mary had done this act therefore on a former occasion. That she did it again at Bethany is not mentioned in the narrative of Luke, but is in the other three Gospels.

AUG. A cruel sickness had seized Lazarus; a wasting fever was eating away the body of the wretched man day by day: his two sisters sat sorrowful at his bedside, grieving for the sick youth continually. They sent to Jesus: Therefore his sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, behold he whom you love is sick.

AUG. They did not say, Come and heal; they dared not say, Speak the word there, and it shall be done here; but only, Behold, he whom you love is sick. As if to say, It is enough that you know it, you are not one to love and then to desert whom you love.

CHRYS. They hope to excite Christ's pity by these words, Whom as yet they thought to be a man only. Like the centurion and nobleman, they sent, not went, to Christ; partly from their great faith in Him, for they knew Him intimately, partly because their sorrow kept them at home.

THEOPHYL. And because they were women and it did not become them to leave their home if they could help it. Great devotion and faith is expressed in these words, Behold, he whom you love is sick. Such was their idea of our Lord's power, that they were surprised, that one, whom He loved, could be seized with sickness.

AUG. When Jesus heard that, He said, This sickness is not to death. For this death itself was not to death, but to give occasion for a miracle; whereby men might be brought to believe in Christ, and so escape real death. It was for the glory of God, wherein observe that our Lord calls Himself God by implication, thus confounding those heretics who say that the Son of God is not God. For the glory of what God? Hear what follows, That the Son of God might be glorified thereby, i.e. by that sickness.

CHRYS. That here signifies not the cause, but the event. The sickness sprang from natural causes, but He turned it to the glory of God.

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

AUG. He is sick, they sorrowful, all beloved. Wherefore they had hope, for they were beloved by Him Who is the Comforter of the sorrowful, and the Healer of the sick.

CHRYS. Wherein the Evangelist instructs us not to be sad, it sickness ever falls upon good men, and friends of God.

6. When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
7. Then after that says he to his disciples, Let us go into Judea again.
8. His disciples say to him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone you; and you go there again?
9. Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world.
10. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbles, because there is no light in him.

ALCUIN. Our Lord heard of the sickness of Lazarus, but suffered four days to pass before He cured it; that the recovery might be a more wonderful one. When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the place where He was.

CHRYS. To give time for his death and burial, that they might say, he stinks, and none doubt that it was death, and not a trance, from which he was raised.

Then after that; He says to His disciples, let us go into Judea again.

AUG. Where He had just escaped being stoned; for this was the cause of His leaving. He left indeed as man: He left in weakness, but He returns in power.

CHRYS. He had not as yet told His disciples where He was going; but now He tells them, in order to prepare them beforehand, for they are in great alarm, when they hear of it: His disciples say to Him, Master, the Jews sought to stone you, and you go there again? They feared both for Him, and for themselves; for they were not yet confirmed in faith.

AUG. When men presumed to give advice to God, disciples to their Master, our Lord rebuked them: Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? He showed Himself to be the day, by appointing twelve disciples: i.e. reckoning Matthias in the place of Judas, and passing over the latter altogether.

The hours are lightened by the day; that by the preaching of the hours, the world may believe on the day. Follow Me then, says our Lord, if you wish not to stumble: If any man walk in the day, he stumbles not, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night he stumbles, because there is no light in him.

CHRYS. As if to say, the upright need fear no evil: the wicked only have cause to fear. We have done nothing worthy of death, and therefore are in no danger. Or, If any one sees this world's light, he is safe; much more he who is with Me.

THEOPHYL. Some understand the day to be the time preceding the Passion, the night to be the Passion. In this sense, while it is day, would mean, before My Passion; You will not stumble before My Passion, because the Jews will not persecute you; but when the night, i.e. My Passion, comes, then shall you be beset with darkness and difficulties.

11. These things said he: and after that he says to them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep.
12. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13. Although Jesus spoke of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14. Then said Jesus to them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15. And I am glad for your sakes I was not there, to the intent you may believe; nevertheless let us go to him.
16. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus to his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

CHRYS. After He had comforted His disciples in one way, He comforts them in another, by telling them that they were not going to Jerusalem, but to Bethany: These things says He and after that He says to them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep: as if to say, I am not going to dispute again with the Jews, but to awaken our friend. Our friend, He says, to show how strongly they were bound to go.

AUG. It was really true that He was sleeping. To our Lord, he was sleeping; to men who could not raise him again, he was dead. Our Lord awoke him with as much ease from his grave, as you awake a sleeper from his bed. He calls him then asleep, with reference to His own power, as the Apostle says, But 1 would not have you to be ignorant, concerning them which are asleep.

Asleep, He says, because He is speaking of their resurrection which was to be. But as it matters to those who sleep and wake again daily, what they see in their sleep, some having pleasant dreams, others painful ones, so it is in death; every one sleeps and rises again with his own account.

CHRYS. The disciples however wished to prevent Him going to Judea: Then said His disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Sleep is a good sign in sickness. And therefore if he sleep, say they, what need to go and awake him.

AUG. The disciples replied, as they understood Him: Although Jesus spoke of his death; but they thought that He had spoken of taking rest in sleep.

CHRYS. But if anyone say, that the disciples could not but have known that our Lord meant Lazarus's death, when He said, that I may awake him; because it would have been absurd to have gone such a distance merely to awake Lazarus out of sleep; we answer, that our Lord's words were a kind of enigma to the disciples, here as elsewhere often.

AUG. He then declares His meaning openly: Then said Jesus to them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

CHRYS. But He does not add here, I go that I may awake him. He did not wish to anticipate the miracle by talking of it; a hint to us to shun vain glory, and abstain from empty promises.

AUG. He had been sent for to restore Lazarus from sickness, not from death. But how could the death be hid from Him, into whose hands the soul of the dead had flown?

And 1 am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you might believe; i.e. seeing My marvelous power of knowing a thing I have neither seen nor heard. The disciples already believed in Him in consequence of His miracles; so that their faith had not now to begin, but only to increase. That you might believe, means, believe more deeply, more firmly.

THEOPHYL. Some have understood this place thus. I rejoice, He says, for your sakes; for if I had been there, I should have only cured a sick man; which is but an inferior sign of power. But since in My absence he has died, you will now see that I can raise even the dead putrefying body, and your faith will be strengthened.

CHRYS. The disciples, all dreaded the Jews; end especially Thomas; Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, to his fellow-disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. But he who was now the most weak and unbelieving of all the disciples, afterwards became stronger than any. And he who dared not go to Bethany, afterwards went over the whole earth, in the midst of those who wished his death, with a spirit indomitable.

BEDE. The disciples, checked by our Lord's answer to them, dared no longer oppose; and Thomas, more forward than the rest, says, Let us also go that we may die with him. What an appearance of firmness! He speaks as if he could really do what he said; unmindful, like Peter, of his frailty.

17. Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
18. Now Bethany was nigh to Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off.
19. And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother.
20. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21. Then said Martha to Jesus, Lord if you had been here, my brother had not died.
22. But I know, that even now, whatsoever you will ask of God, God will give it you.
23. Jesus says to her, Your brother shall rise.
24. Martha says to him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26. And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never; die. Believe you this?
27. She says to him, Yea, Lord: I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

ALCUIN. Our Lord delayed His coming for four days, that the resurrection of Lazarus might be the more glorious: Then when Jesus came, He found that He had lain in the grave four days already.

CHRYS Our Lord had stayed two days, and the messenger had come the day before; the very day on which Lazarus died. This brings us to the fourth day.

AUG. Of the four days many things may be said. They refer to one thing, but one thing viewed in different ways. There is one day of death which the law of our birth brings upon us. Men transgress the natural law, and this is another day of death. The written law is given to men by the hands of Moses, and that is despised - a third day of death. The Gospel comes, and men transgress it - a fourth day of death. But Christ cloth not disdain to awaken even these.

ALCUIN. The first sin w as elation of heart, the second assent, the third act, the fourth habit.

Now Bethany was nigh to Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off.

CHRYS. Two miles. This is mentioned to account for so many coming from Jerusalem:

And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. But how could the Jews be consoling the beloved of Christ, when they had resolved that whoever confessed Christ should be put out of the synagogue? Perhaps the extreme affliction of the sisters excited their sympathy; or they wished to show respect for their rank. Or perhaps they who came were of the better sort; as we find many of them believed. Their presence is mentioned to do away with all doubt of the real death of Lazarus.

BEDE. Our Lord had not yet entered the town, when Martha met Him: Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was t coming, went and met Him: but Mary sat still in the house.

CHRYS. Martha does not take her sister with her, because she wants to speak with Christ alone, and tell Him what has happened. When her hopes had been raised by Him, then she went her way, and called Mary.

THEOPHYL. At first she does not tell her sister, for fear, if she came, the Jews, present might accompany her. And she did not wish them to know of our Lord's coming.

Then says Martha to Jesus, Lord, if You had been here, my brother had not died.

CHRYS. She believed in Christ, but she believed not as she ought. She did not speak as if He were God: If You had been here, my brother had not died.

THEOPHYL. She did not know that He could have restored her brother as well absent as present.

CHRYS. Nor did she know that He wrought His miracles by His own independent power: But I know that even now, whatsoever You will ask of God, God will give it to you. She only thinks Him some very gifted man.

AUG. She does not say to Him, Bring my brother to life again; for how could she know that it would be good for him to come to life again; she says, I know that You can do so, if You will but what You will do is for your judgment, not for my presumption to determine

CHRYS. But our Lord taught her the truths which she did not know: Jesus says to her, Your brother shall rise again. Observe, He does not say, I will ask God, that he may rise again, nor on the other hand does He say, I want no help, I do all things of Myself, a declaration which would have been too much for the woman; but something between the two, He shall rise again.

AUG. Shall rise again, is ambiguous: for He does not say, now. And therefore it follows: Martha says to Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day; of that resurrection I am certain; of this I am doubtful.

CHRYS. She had often heard Christ speak of the resurrection. Jesus now declares His power more plainly: Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He needed therefore none to help Him; for if He did, how could He be the resurrection. And if He is the life, He is not confined by place, but is everywhere, and can heal every where.

ALCUIN. I am the resurrection, because I am the life; as through Me he will rise at the general resurrection, through Me he may rise now.

CHRYS. To Martha's, Whatsoever You shall ask, He replies, He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: showing her that He is the Giver of all good, and that we must ask of Him. Thus He leads her to the knowledge of high truths; and whereas she had been inquiring only about the resurrection of Lazarus, tells her of a resurrection in which both she and all present would share.

AUG. He that believes in Me, though he were dead: i.e. though his flesh die, his soul shall live till the flesh rise again, never to die more. For faith is the life of the soul.

And whomsoever lives, in the flesh, and believes in Me, though he die for a time in the flesh, shall not die eternally.

ALCUIN. Because He has attained to the life of the Spirit, and to an immortal resurrection. Our Lord, from Whom nothing was hid, knew that she believed, but sought from her a confession to salvation: Do you believe this? She says to Him, Yea, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ the Son of God, which should come into the world.

CHRYS. She seems not to have understood His words; i.e. she saw that He meant something great, but did not see what that was. She is asked one thing, and answers another.

AUG When I believed that You were the Son of God, I believed that you were the resurrection, that You were life, and that he that believes in you, though he were dead, shall live.

28. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calls for you.
29. And as soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came to him.
30. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31. The Jews then which were with her in the house and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goes to the grave to weep there.
32. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died.

CHRYS. Christ's words had the effect of stopping Martha's grief. In her devotion to her Master she had no time to think of her afflictions: And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly.

AUG. Silently, i.e. speaking in a low voice. For she did speak, saying, the Master is come, and calls for you.

CHRYS. She calls her sister secretly, in order not to let the Jews know that Christ was coming. For had they known, they would have gone, and not been witnesses of the miracle.

AUG. We may observe that the Evangelist has not said, where, or when, or how, the Lord called Mary, but for brevity's sake has left it to be gathered from Martha's words.

THEOPHYL. Perhaps she thought the presence of Christ in itself a call, as if it were inexcusable, when Christ came, that she should not go out to meet Him.

CHRYS. While the rest sat around her in her sorrow, she did not wait for the Master to come to her, but, not letting her grief detain her, rose immediately to meet Him; As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came to Him.

AUG. So we see, if she had known of His arrival before, she would not have let Martha go without her. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met Him.

CHRYS. He went slowly that He might not seem to catch at an occasion of working a miracle, but to have it forced upon Him by others asking Mary, it is said, arose quickly, and thus anticipated His coming.

The Jews accompanied her: The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary that she arose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goes to the grave to weep there.

AUG. The Evangelist mentions this to show how it was that so many were present at Lazarus' resurrection, and witness of that great miracle.

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet.

CHRYS. She is more fervent than her sister. Forgetful of the crowd around her, and of the Jews, some of whom were enemies to Christ, she threw herself at her Master's feet. In His presence all earthly things were nothing to her; she thought of nothing but giving Him honor.

THEOPHYL. But her faith seems as yet imperfect: Lord, if You had been here, my brother had not died.

ALCUIN. As if to say, Lord, while You were with us, no disease, no sickness dared to show itself, amongst those with whom the Life deigned to take up His abode.

AUG. O faithless assembly! While You are yet in the world, Lazarus your friend dies! If the friend cries, what will the enemy suppose? Is it a small thing that they will not serve You upon earth? Lo, hell has taken your beloved.

BEDE. Mary did not say so much as Martha, she could not bring out what she wanted for weeping, as is usual with persons overwhelmed with sorrow.

33. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
34. And said, Where have you laid him? They said to him, Lord, come and see.
35. Jesus wept.
36. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37. And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38. Jesus therefore again groaning in himself comes to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39. Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, says to him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days.
40. Jesus says to her, Said I not to you, that, if you would believe, you should see the glory of God?
41. Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid.

CHRYS. Christ did not answer Mary, as He had her; sister, on account of the people present. In condescension to them He humbled Himself, and let His human nature be seen, in order to gain them as witnesses to the miracle: When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in His spirit, and was troubled.

AUG. For who but Himself could trouble Him? Christ was troubled, because it pleased Him to be troubled; He hungered, because it pleased Him to hunger. It was in His own power to be affected in this or that way or not. The Word took up soul and flesh, and whole man, and fitted it to Himself in unity of person. And thus according to the nod and will of that higher nature in Him, in which the sovereign power resides, He becomes weak and troubled.

THEOPHYL. To prove His human nature He sometimes gives it free vent, while at other times He commands, and restrains it by, the power of the Holy Ghost. Our Lord allows His nature to be affected in these ways both to prove that He is very Man, not Man in appearance only; and also to teach us by His own example the due measures of joy and grief. For the absence altogether of sympathy and sorrow is brutal, the excess of them is womanly.

AUG. And said, Where have you laid him? He knew where but He asked to try the faith of the people.

CHRYS. He did not wish to thrust the miracle upon them, but to make them ask for it, and thus do away with all suspicions.

AUG. The question has an allusion too to our hidden calling. That, predestination by which we are called, is hidden; and the sign of its being so is our Lord asking the question. He being as it were in ignorance, so long as we are ignorant ourselves. Or because our Lord elsewhere shows that He knows not sinners, saying, I know you not, because in keeping His commandments there is no sin.

They said to Him, Lord, come and see.

CHRYS. He had not yet raised anyone from the dead; and seemed as if He came to weep, not to raise to life. Wherefore they say to Him, Come and see.

AUG. The Lord sees when He pities, as we read, Look upon my adversity and misery, and forgive me all my sin.

Jesus wept.

ALCUIN. Because He was the fountain of pity. He wept in His human nature for him whom He was able to raise again by His divine.

AUG. Wherefore did Christ weep, but to teach men to weep?

BEDE. It is customary to mourn over the death of friends; and thus the Jews explained our Lord's weeping: Then said the Jews, Behold how He loved him.

AUG. Loved him. Our Lord came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

And some of them said, Could not this Man which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? He was about to do more than this, to raise him from death.

CHRYS. It was His enemies who said this. The very works, which should have evidenced His power, they turn against Him, as if He had not really done them. This is the way that they speak of the miracle of opening the eyes of the man that was born blind. They even prejudge Christ before He has come to the grave, and have not the patience to wait for the issue of the matter.

Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself, comes to the grave. That He wept, and He groaned, are mentioned to show us the reality of His human nature. John who enters into higher statements as to His nature than any of the other Evangelists, also descends lower than any in describing His bodily affections.

AUG. And do you too groan in yourself, if you would rise to new life. To every man is this said, who is weighed down by any vicious habit. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. The dead under the stone is the guilty under the Law. For the Law, which was as given to the Jews, was as graven on stone. And all the guilty are under the Law, for the Law was not made for a righteous man.

BEDE. A cave is a hollow in a rock. It is called a monument, because it reminds us of the dead.

Jesus said, Take away the stone.

CHRYS. But why did He not raise him without taking away the stone? Could not He who moved a dead body by His voice, much more have moved a stone? He purposely did not do so, in order that the miracle might take place in the sight of all; to give no room for saying, as they had said in the case of the blind man, This is not he. Now they might go into the grave, and feel and see that this was the man.

AUG. Take away the stone; mystically, take away the burden of the law, proclaim grace.

AUG. Perhaps those are signified who wished to impose the rite of circumcision on the Gentile converts; or men in the Church of corrupt life, who offend believers.

AUG. Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, though they had often seen Christ raise the dead, did not fully believe that He could raise their brother; Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said to Him, Lord, by this time he stinks, for he has been dead four days.

THEOPHYL. Martha said this from weakness of faith, thinking it impossible that Christ could raise her brother, so long after death.

BEDE. Or, these are not words of despair, but of wonder.

CHRYS. Thus everything tends to stop the mouths of the unbelieving. Their hands take away the stone, their ears hear Christ's voice, their eyes see Lazarus come forth, they perceive the smell of the dead body.

THEOPHYL. Christ reminds Martha of what He had told her before, which she had forgotten: Jesus said to her, Said I not to you, that, if you would believe, you should see the glory of God?

CHRYS. She did not remember what He said above, He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. To the disciples He had said That the Son of God might be glorified thereby; here it is the glory of the Father He speaks of. The difference is made to suit the different hearers. Our Lord could not rebuke her before such a number, but only says, You shall see the glory of God.

AUG. Herein is the glory of God, that he that stinks and has been dead four days, is brought to life again.

Then they took away the stone.

ORIGEN. The delay in taking away the stone was caused by the sister of the dead, who said, By this time he stinks, for he has been dead four days. If she had not said this, it would not be said, Jesus said, Take away the stone. Some delay had arisen; it is best to let nothing come between the commands of Jesus and doing them.

41. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
42. And I knew that you hear me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent me.
43. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said to them, Loose him, and let him go.
45. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

ALCUIN. Christ, as man, being inferior to the Father, prays to Him for Lazarus's resurrection; and declares that He is heard: And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

ORIGEN. He lifted up His eyes; mystically, He lifted up the human mind by prayer to the Father above. We should pray after Christ's pattern, Lift up the eyes of our heart, and raise them above present things in memory, in thought, in intention.

If to them who pray worthily after this fashion is given the promise in Isaiah, You shall cry, and He shall say, Here I am; what answer, think we, our Lord and Savior would receive? He was about to pray for the resurrection of Lazarus He was heard by the Father before He prayed; His request was granted before made. And therefore He begins with giving thanks; I thank You, Father, that You have heard Me.

CHRYS. i.e. There is no difference of will between Me and You. You have heard Me, does not show any lack of power in Him, or that He is inferior to the Father. It is a phrase that is used between friends and equals. That the prayer is not really necessary for Him, appears from the words that follow,

And I knew that You heard Me always: as if He said, I need not prayer to persuade You; for Ours is one will.

He hides His meaning on account of the weak faith of His hearers. For God regards not so much His own dignity, as our salvation; and therefore seldom speaks loftily of Himself, and, even when He does, speaks in an obscure way; whereas humble expressions abound in His discourses.

HILARY. He did not therefore need to pray: He prayed for our sakes, that we might know Him to be the Son: But because use of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that You have sent Me. His prayer did not benefit Himself, but benefited our faith. He did not want help, but we want instruction.

CHRYS. He did not say, That they may believe that I am inferior to You, in that I cannot do this without prayer, but, that You have sent Me. He says not, have sent Me weak, acknowledging subjection, doing nothing of Myself, but have sent Me in such sense, as that man may see that I am from God, not contrary to God; and that I do this miracle in accordance with His will.

AUG. Christ went to the grave in which Lazarus slept, as if He were not dead, but alive and able to hear, for He forthwith called him out of his grave. And when He had thus spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. He calls him by name, that He may not bring out all the dead.

CHRYS. He does not say, Arise, but, Come forth, speaking to the dead as if he were alive. For which reason also He does not say, Come forth in My Father's name, or, Father, raise him, but throwing off the whole appearance of one praying, proceeds to show His power by acts. This is His general way. His words show humility, His acts power.

THEOPHYL. The voice which roused Lazarus, is the symbol of that trumpet which will sound at the general resurrection. (He spoke loud, to contradict the Gentile fable, that the soul remained in the tomb. The soul of Lazarus is called to as if it were absent, and a loud voice were necessary to summon it.)

And as the general resurrection is to take place in the twinkling of an eye, so did this single one: And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was as bound about with a napkin. Now is accomplished what was said above, The hour is coming, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.

ORIGEN. His cry and loud voice it was which awoke him, as Christ had said, I go to awake him. The resurrection of Lazarus is the work of the Father also, in that He heard the prayer of the Son. It is the joint work of Father and Son, one praying, the other hearing; for as the Father raises up the dead and quickens them, even so the Son quickens whom He will.

CHRYS. He came forth bound, that none might suspect that he was a mere phantom. Besides, that this very fact, viz. of coming forth bound, was itself a miracle, as great as the resurrection. Jesus said to them, Loose him, that by going near and touching him they might be certain he was the very person. And let him go. His humility is strewn here; He does not take Lazarus about with Him for the sake of display.

ORIGEN. Our Lord had said above, Because of the people that stand by I said it, that they may believe that You have sent Me. It would have been ignorance of the future, if He had said this, and none believed, after all. Therefore it follows: Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him. But some of them went their way to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

It is doubtful from these words, whether those who went to the Pharisees, were of those many who believed, and meant to conciliate the opponents of Christ; or whether they were of the unbelieving party, and wished to inflame the envy of the Pharisees against Him.

The latter seems to me the true supposition; especially as the Evangelist describes those who believed as the larger party. Many believed; whereas it is only a few who go to the Pharisees: Some of them went to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

BEDE. By those who went and told the Pharisees, are meant those who seeing the good works of God's servants, hate them on that very account, persecute, and calumniate them.

AUG. Although according to the Gospel history, we hold that Lazarus was really raised to life, yet I doubt not that his resurrection is an allegory as well. We do not, because we allegorize facts, lose our belief in them as facts.

AUG. Everyone that sins, dies; but God, of His great mercy, raises the soul to life again, and does not suffer it to die eternally. The three miraculous resurrections in the Gospels, understand to testify, the resurrection of the soul.

GREG. The maiden is restored to life in the house, the young man outside the gate, Lazarus in his grave. She that lies dead in the house, is the sinner dying in sin: he that is carried out by the gate is the openly and notoriously wicked.

AUG. Or, it is death within; when the evil thought has not come out into action. But if you actually do the evil thing, you have as it were carried the dead outside the gate.

GREG. And one there is who lies dead in his grave, with a load of earth upon him; i.e. who is weighed down by habits of sin. But the Divine grace has regard even to such, and enlightens them.

AUG. Or we may take Lazarus in the grave as the soul laden with earthly sins.

AUG. And yet our Lord loved Lazarus. For had He not loved sinners, He would never have come down from heaven to save them. Well is it said of one of sinful habits, that He stinks. He has a bad report already, as it were the foulest odor.

AUG. Well may she say, He has been dead four days For the earth is the last of the elements. It signifies the pit of earthly sins, i.e. carnal lusts.

AUG. The Lord groaned, wept, cried with a loud voice. It is hard for Him to arise who is bowed down with the weight of evil habits. Christ troubles Himself, to signify to you that you should be troubled, when you are pressed and weighed down with such a mass of sin. Faith groans, he that is displeased with himself groans, and accuses his own evil deeds; that so the habit of sin may yield to the violence of repentance. When you say, I have done such a thing, and God has spared me; I have heard the Gospel, and despised it; what shall I do? Then Christ groans, because faith groans; and in the voice of your groaning appears the hope of your rising again.

GREG. Lazarus is bid to come forth, i.e. to come forth and condemn himself with his own mouth, without excuse or reservation: that so he that lies buried in a guilty conscience, may come forth out of himself by confession.

AUG. That Lazarus came forth from the grave, signifies the soul's deliverance from carnal sins. That he came bound up in grave clothes means, that even we who are delivered from carnal things, and serve with the mind the law of God, yet cannot, so long as we are in the body, be free from the besetments of the flesh.

That his face was bound about with a napkin means, that we do not attain to full knowledge in this life. And when our Lord says, Loose him, and let him go, we learn that in another world all veils will be removed, and that we shall see face to face.

AUG. Or thus: When you despise, you lie dead; when you confess, you come forth. For what is to come forth, but to go out, as it were, of your hiding place, and show yourself? But you cannot make this confession, except God move you to it, by crying with a loud voice, i.e. calling you with great grace.

But even after the dead man has come forth, he remains bound for some time, i.e. is as yet only a penitent. Then our Lord says to His ministers, Loose him, and let him go, i.e. remit his sins: Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

ALCUIN. Christ awakes, because His power it is which quickens us inwardly: the disciples loose, because by the ministry of the priesthood, they who are quickened are absolved.

Catena Aurea John 11
31 posted on 04/06/2014 9:38:11 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

The Raising of Lazarus

12c.
St. Catherine monastery, Mt. Sinai

32 posted on 04/06/2014 9:38:42 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Raising of Lazarus

Caravaggio

1608-09
Oil on canvas, 380 x 275 cm
Museo Regionale, Messina

33 posted on 04/06/2014 9:39:07 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Raising of Lazarus

Alessandro Turchi

1617
Oil on slate, 36 x 27 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

34 posted on 04/06/2014 9:39:30 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Vincent van Gogh

The Raising of Lazarus (after Rembrandt)

May 1890, Saint-Rémy
Oil on canvas, 49 x 63 cm
Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam

35 posted on 04/06/2014 9:39:55 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: All

Catholic

Almanac:

Friday, April 6

Liturgical Color: Red


The great Renaissance artist Raphael Santi died on this day in 1520. Among his masterpieces are numerous representations of the Madonna and Biblical scenes painted on the walls of the Vatican.

 


36 posted on 04/06/2014 12:03:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Day 118 - How will the world come to an end? // Why do we say "Amen" to the profession of our faith?

 

How will the world come to an end?

At the end of time, God will create a new heaven and a new earth. Evil will no longer have any power or attractiveness. The redeemed will stand face to face with God as his friends. Their yearning for peace and justice will be fulfilled. To behold God will be their blessedness. The Triune God will dwell among them and wipe away every tear from their eyes; there will be no more death, sorrow, lamentation, or trouble.


Why do we say "Amen" to the profession of our faith?

We say Amen "Yes" to the profession of our faith because God appoints us witnesses to the faith. Anyone who says Amen assents freely and gladly to God's work in creation and redemption.

The Hebrew word amen comes from a family of words that mean both "faith" and "steadfastness, reliability, fidelity". "He who says amen writes his signature" (St. Augustine). We can pronounce this unconditional Yes only because Jesus in his death and Resurrection has proved to be faithful and trustworthy for us. He himself is the human Yes to all God's promises, just as he is also God's definitive Yes to us. (YOUCAT 164-165)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (1042-1050) and other references here.


37 posted on 04/06/2014 12:13:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Part 1: The Profession of Faith (26 - 1065)

Section 2: The Profession of the Christian Faith (185 - 1065)

Chapter 3: I Believe in the Holy Spirit (683 - 1065)

Article 12: "I believe in life everlasting" (1020 - 1065)

VI. THE HOPE OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH

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310
670
769
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1042

At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed: The Church ... will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself, which is so closely related to man and which attains its destiny through him, will be perfectly re-established in Christ.631

631.

LG 48; Cf. Acts 3:21; Eph 1:10; Col 1:20; 2 Pet 3:10-13.

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(all)

1043

Sacred Scripture calls this mysterious renewal, which will transform humanity and the world, "new heavens and a new earth."632 It will be the definitive realization of God's plan to bring under a single head "all things in [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth."633

632.

2 Pet 3:13; Cf. Rev 21:1.

633.

Eph 1:10.

1044

In this new universe, the heavenly Jerusalem, God will have his dwelling among men.634 "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away."635

634.

Cf. Rev 21:5.

635.

Rev 21:4.

1404
775
(all)

1045

For man, this consummation will be the final realization of the unity of the human race, which God willed from creation and of which the pilgrim Church has been "in the nature of sacrament."636 Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, "the holy city" of God, "the Bride, the wife of the Lamb."637 She will not be wounded any longer by sin, stains, self-love, that destroy or wound the earthly community.638 The beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way to the elect, will be the ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion.

636.

Cf. LG 1.

637.

Rev 21:2,9.

638.

Cf. Rev 21:27.

349
(all)

1046

For the cosmos, Revelation affirms the profound common destiny of the material world and man: For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God ... in hope because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay. ... We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.639

639.

Rom 8:19-23.

1047

The visible universe, then, is itself destined to be transformed, "so that the world itself, restored to its original state, facing no further obstacles, should be at the service of the just," sharing their glorification in the risen Jesus Christ.640

640.

St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 5,32,1:PG 7/2,210.

673
(all)

1048

"We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth and of man, nor the way in which the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men."641

641.

GS 39 § 1.

2820
(all)

1049

"Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectancy of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come. That is why, although we must be careful to distinguish earthly progress clearly from the increase of the kingdom of Christ, such progress is of vital concern to the kingdom of God, insofar as it can contribute to the better ordering of human society."642

642.

GS 39 § 2.

1709
260
(all)

1050

"When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise ... according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from the stain of sin, illuminated and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father an eternal and universal kingdom."643 God will then be "all in all" in eternal life:644 True and subsistent life consists in this: the Father, through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, pouring out his heavenly gifts on all things without exception. Thanks to his mercy, we too, men that we are, have received the inalienable promise of eternal life.645

643.

GS 39 § 3.

644.

1 Cor 5:28.

645.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catech. illum. 18,29:PG 33,1049.


38 posted on 04/06/2014 12:18:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for:April 06, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, you Son handed himself over to death. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

RECIPES

o    Classic Beans and Rice

ACTIVITIES

o    Carling or Passion Sunday

PRAYERS

o    Prayer for the Fifth Week of Lent

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Lent (2nd Plan)

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Lent (1st Plan)

·         Lent: April 6th

·         Fifth Sunday of Lent

Old Calendar: Passion Sunday

Out of the depths I call to you O Lord: Lord hear my cry. Listen attentively to the sound of my pleading!’ (Ps 129:1-2) In this, the fifth Sunday of Lent, the Church invites us to turn our attention to the realities that are perhaps the most ‘scandalous’ in human experience, the death of a loved one. In this Gospel we see all those who are being supportive of Martha and Mary at the moment of their brother, Lazarus’ death.

Previously called "Passion Sunday," this Sunday marks the beginning of Passiontide, a deeper time of Lent. This is the third Sunday of the scrutinies for the preparation of adult converts, and the final Sunday of Lent before the beginning of Holy Week. The Liturgy of the Word of this day speaks of re-creation, resurrection, and new life.

Stational Church


Sunday Readings
The first reading from the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel 37:12-14 is taken from the chapter about pouring forth the Spirit upon the "dry bones" in the valley of his vision. The prophet speaks of restoration through an act of God through the Spirit and that it was through him that the people first were saved from their oppression in Egypt, and by his power they will be saved again and restored as the people of God. The symbolic meaning of the reading is the resurrection of the people to new life, a theme clearly reiterated in succeeding apocalyptic literature and finally present in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

The second reading from St Paul to the Romans 8:8-11 states that through Christ the whole person of the believer is saved, raised up, and redeemed. The realm of the flesh is the realm to be left behind, and the realm of the Spirit is where true life is to be found. But there is no hellenistic dichotomy here between flesh and spirit since the believer lives with the Spirit of God enfleshed in his body so that his whole person will live in conformity with that Spirit. The indwelling of the Spirit refers to the baptism of the person and his consequent moral life.

The Gospel reading, St. John 11:1-45, opens up in front of us a scene of unprecedented sorrow. The Lord Jesus receives the message from the sisters of Lazarus who, when confronted with the gravity of his condition, tried the only thing possible, they turned to the Lord of who it was said: ‘Everything He does is good, he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak’ (Mk 7:37). It is the cry of each one of us who would like their loved ones to live forever without ever leaving us.

The Lord Jesus, inexplicably, waited a further two days before heading for Lazarus’ home. Even then, He only left with His disciples when he divinely knew of His friend’s death. This particular detail from the Gospel tells us that the Word of God was made Man for the love of all of us. Also that His look of love is always upon us waiting for that meeting of immense joy that will happen in eternity.

Upon Jesus’ arrival in Bethany there was a new apparently inexplicable development in the story. First Mary, then her sister Marta and behind them all the Jews who were united with them, converge on Jesus with the certainty that if there was a response to their sorrow it would come from Him. They were not irreligious people who were looking to Jesus for a solution. They profoundly accepted Israel’s faith in the final Resurrection and so even this event was not ultimately inexplicable. In fact Martha said to the Lord, ‘I know that he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day’. (Jn 11:24) However, knowing that in relation to the Lord, nothing that was authentically human in them or their cry of sorrow be would be lost. Prior to that, their only consolation came from the eschatological faith of the time.

In this last sign, worked by the Lord before His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, everything seams to flow to that ‘new reality’ inaugurated by Emmanuel, God with us. Sharing our existence, Jesus had loved us with a supreme passion, with that virginal love that doesn’t seek to possess the heart of the other, but to love it in truth with delicate insistence right up to sacrificing Himself for us. In this infinite delicacy and attention to everyone, He was able to be moved by those who were linked to Him by ties of the most profound friendship who understood that it could not be anything but God’s presence amongst them. ‘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. Do you believe this? She said to him, Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world. (Jn 11:25-27)

Christ then performed the great miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection. He announced, through the work of the Father, that He, Himself, God made man, is the Resurrection and the Life. He is also the Lord of biological life. His voice can reach those who, like Lazarus, have exceeded the threshold of four days from their death and arrived at the point where bodily corruption commences. Faced with this sign, the words with which He foretold His Resurrection become clearer: ‘I lay down my life, that I may take it again.’(Jn 10:17) He really can ‘take up [His life] again’ as He is the Word of Life. If Lazarus’ resurrection didn’t stop the Lord’s beloved friend from embracing ‘our sister death’ – to use St Francis’ expression - when God finally called him again from this life, then how much greater is the Life that the Lord has earned for Lazarus and everyone of us in the Pascal Mystery that we are preparing to celebrate a few days from now.

It was Martha and Mary’s faith, even when confronted with Lazarus’ death that gave rise to the extraordinary miracle worked by Christ. This is not only a consoling story narrated in the letters of the Gospel, but it is also accessible to us today in the Church from the day of our Baptism until when we are incorporated to Him by means of the Spirit that He has given to us. ‘If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit who dwells in you.’ (Rom 8:11)

Most Holy Mary, the mother of the Risen One, give us the grace to look towards and live the light of this extraordinary reality – the promise of Resurrection in Christ. Amen.

From the Congregation for the Clergy



At Rome, the Station is in the basilica of St. Peter. The importance of this Sunday, which never yields to any feast no matter what its solemnity may be, requires that the place for the assembly of the faithful should be in one of the chief sanctuaries of the Holy City.


39 posted on 04/06/2014 12:30:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: John 11:1-45

5th Sunday of Lent

Father, I thank you for hearing me. (John 11:41)

You have probably prayed many prayers this Lent, maybe even for those who are sick or departed loved ones—the “Lazaruses” in your life. But does the thought ever creep in: God, are you even listening?

Perhaps we can take a cue from Jesus as he prayed for his friend Lazarus, who had just died. Rather than starting off with his specific request, he said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me” (John 11:41). Jesus offered words of gratitude for the greatest gift of all: God’s friendship and love. He trusted that his Father knew what he needed before he even asked. He knew that his Father would give just the right gifts at just the right time—even if it meant that Lazarus wouldn’t rise until the end of time.

Mary and Martha, women of great faith, expected that Jesus would come as soon as he got word that Lazarus was sick. But he delayed. As time passed, they too must have thought, God, are you listening? By the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus was already dead and decaying. But Jesus’ delay had nothing to do with indifference. He was so moved by the women’s distress that he wept at Lazarus’ tomb. In the end, his delay led to an even greater miracle: not just a healing but an actual rising from death!

Jesus hears every prayer you make, even if he doesn’t answer you right away. He weeps with you in your sorrow. He is with you, even when he is holding back his healing touch. He may not give you what you ask for, but he will give you something good—perhaps an increased compassion for other people’s suffering or a greater healing further down the road. Best of all, he will give you the greatest of all gifts: an ever-deepening relationship with him.

So run to the One who hears all your prayers. Go with confidence and trust. Jesus is with you. He will not abandon you!

“Lord, thank you for hearing me. I treasure the incredible gift that you are to me!”

Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130:1-8; Romans 8:8-11

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130:1-8; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45)

1. In the first reading, Ezekiel speaks of the days when the Lord will put his Spirit in each one of us and give us new life in him. And we know that this began at our Baptism! What practical steps can you take during the remaining weeks of Lent to help you focus on and be more sensitive to the fact that the very Spirit of the Living God is present within you?

2. The responsorial psalm uses the metaphor of sentinels anxiously awaiting the light of dawn after a dark and lonely night of keeping watch. In what way does this also represent our waiting on the Lord, as we put our trust in his “forgiveness,” “kindness,” and “redemption.” How might you approach the Eucharist, or your times of prayer, with a deeper longing and trust in the Lord?

3. St. Paul in the second reading tells us that because the Spirit of God dwells in us, God promises that our mortal bodies will be raised from the dead too! Sin and death will have no hold over us. As you dwell on these truths, what thoughts or sentiments does it bring to your mind?

4. In the Gospel, in the raising of Lazarus from the dead, we are once again reminded that death doesn’t have the last word! No matter how final death seems, the victory belongs to God’s Anointed, Jesus. What has the last word in your life? Is it discouragement over your sins? Is it the troubles that beset you? Which is stronger: your faith in the power of God’s Spirit in you or the pull of temptation that constantly tries to swamp the Spirit? Why? How can you strengthen this faith?

5. The mediation reflects on why Jesus may have delayed coming to heal Lazarus when he heard that he was sick: “In the end, his delay led to an even greater miracle: not just a healing but an actual rising from death!” Can you share a time you saw God glorified, and your faith strengthened, in a situation that did not go according to your prayers or expectations?

6. Take some time now to pray and thank the Lord for his faithfulness in hearing you when you turn to him in prayer. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


40 posted on 04/06/2014 12:43:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

JESUS WEPT

(A biblical reflection on THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT [YEAR A], April 6, 2014)

Gospel Reading: John 11:1-45 (Shorter version: John 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33-45)

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalms: Psalm 130:1-8; Second Reading: Romans 8:8-11

LAZARUS - YESUS DI KUBURAN LAZARUS

The Scripture Text

So the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord he whom You love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it He said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea again.”
Now when Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him, while Mary sat in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, He who is coming into the world.”

LAZARUS - KELUARLAH

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; and He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he had been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me. I knew that Thou hearest me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that Thou didst send me.” When He had said this, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what He did, believed in him. (John 11:3-7,17, 20-27,33-45 RSV)

LAZARUS - DIBANGKITKAN OLEH YESUS

“Jesus wept” (John 11:35). What was so moving as to cause the King of the universe to weep? What tugged enough at the heart of the Son of God to bring tears to His eyes? John seems to indicate that Jesus was moved by the sight of Mary and the other mourners (John 11:33). Is it possible that Jesus wept because He saw a group of people over whom death seems victorious? Here was a crowd consumed by the hopelessness and finality of death, while the “Resurrection and Life” (John 11:25) stood right in their midst!

Jesus came to offer the promise of resurrection to every human being who believes and trusts in Him. Just as He wept before the tomb of Lazarus, He weeps over all those who are either unaware or unwilling to believe in the eternal life He offers. He is grieved when those He came to rescue from death remain bound in their fears and do not experience freedom or hope.

Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though He die, yet shall he live … Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). Jesus wants to ask each one of us: Do you believe this? Do you believe that I have overcome death? Do you believe I can bring freedom in place of bondage to sin? Hope in place of despair? Light in place of darkness?

If we do believe, then know that we can entrust to Jesus all the areas of our lives that are wounded, despairing, or sinful. He has the power to raise up and bring life even to something that seems dead and decaying (see the first reading from the book of Ezekiel). Even in the most hopeless situations, the light of Christ can penetrate the darkness and bring deliverance. All Jesus asks is that we proclaim with Martha, “Yes. Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God” (John 11:27). All He asks is that we come out of our graves by confessing our sin and asking Jesus to cleanse us and lift us up to the heavenly Father’s throne.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I praise You for restoring what was dead in me and for raising me up to new life. Yes, Lord Jesus, I do believe in You. I want to rise with You. Let me know Your presence today. Amen.

41 posted on 04/06/2014 12:50:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

LORD, THE ONE YOU LOVE IS SICK

(A biblical refection on THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT [YEAR A], April 6, 2014)

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalms: Psalm 130:1-8; Second Reading: Romans 8:8-11; Gospel Reading: John 11:1-45 (Shorter version: John 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33-45)

He was a good man; a personal friend of Jesus. He became very ill, and his two caring sisters immediately thought of asking Jesus for help. They sent this simple message: “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Jesus heard their plea and remembered His deep love for them, yet He delayed several days, and did not even reply. In the meantime, the man died. Then, amidst their tears, He came to them and restored life the to their brother, extending joy to the family and the entire neighborhood.

Today we can pull this story of Lazarus out of the hills of Bethany and relocate it in our own cities, homes and hearts. This event displays the power of Jesus, foreshadows His own death and resurrection and gives some rare insights into His dealings with people. We can consider three of them.

First: Note that holy people who are close friends of God can get very sick, and suffer great misfortunes, pains and ultimately deaths. None of these misfortunes indicate any lessening of holiness or divine friendship. People who suffer should not be made to feel guilty by being told that a stronger faith in God would solve everything. Jesus loved Lazarus, and yet Lazarus got sick and died. The Lord’s earnest love and concern for him, however, remained constant. This scriptural teaching should give us hope, for God knows that we all have plenty of troubles. We don’t need to falsely add to our miseries by thinking that God has abandoned or is punishing us.

Secondly: Hear the one-line prayer which these close friends of Jesus offered to Him. “Lord, the one You love is sick.” It’s short, direct and filled with trust. The Bible shows that it’s effective. We might say those very words when praying for those suffering from physical, mental or emotional ills. This prayer could be used for ourselves also – even for such moral sickness as anger, pride, lust or greed.

Thirdly: See how Jesus refuses to be either rushed or delayed. The sisters wanted Him to come immediately. The apostles tried to discourage Him from going at all, out of concern for His safety. He must do things His way, even if it seems like He is ignoring our prayers. The Bethany plea is like the Cana request. At first He showed indifference, but in both cases the prayers were answered with spectacular miracles.

We will pray effectively if we clearly state our views and let Him respond His way. The vital thing is to have sincerity, which the Lord cannot ignore. “Lord, the one You love is sick.” Come give us life and set us free.

Source: Rev. James McKarns, GO TELL EVERYONE, Makati, Philippines: St. Paul Publications, 1985, pages 22-23


42 posted on 04/06/2014 1:01:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for April 6, 2014:

And Jesus wept.” (Jn 11:45) Such meaning for so short a verse! Spouses share in each other’s joys…and sorrows. Don’t be afraid to weep together when heartbreaking things happen. Jesus showed his love for Lazarus through his tears.

43 posted on 04/06/2014 2:29:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Fifth Sunday of Lent- Cycle A

April 6, 2014

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14

Psalm: 130:1-8

Second Reading: Romans 8:8-11 

Gospel Reading: John 11:1-45

 

QUESTIONS:

 

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 548, 640, 993-994, 2604

 

Those who have a sure hope that they will rise again lay hold of what lies in the future as though it were already present  —St. Cyril of Alexandria

44 posted on 04/06/2014 6:59:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Jesus, Our Friend

Pastor’s Column

5th Sunday of Lent- A

April 6, 2014

 

          There is so much we can learn about Christ from the wonderful story of the friendship of Martha, Mary and Lazarus in this Sunday’s gospel (John 11:1-45).  Both fully God and fully human, Jesus, like all of us, has a personal need for friendships with others who help us and support us on the road of life. 

          Scripture tells us that Jesus could often be found at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.  Bethany was a small town near Jerusalem beyond the Mount of Olives.  We don’t know how Jesus met these friends, but we do know that Mary was someone who deeply appreciated Jesus, even to the point of pouring very expensive perfumed oil on his feet and drying them with her hair.  She was very grateful for Jesus.  Accommodations in the city of Jerusalem would have been very expensive as well as being too conspicuous, so Jesus and the disciples would no doubt have found lodging outside the city during his visits.

          Who among us would not want to have Jesus and the disciples as friends, people who could feel free to come and go and stay with us whenever they wished!  But this is exactly the kind of relationship Jesus still desires from each soul that has come to know him! Of course he is always with us, but, like Martha and Mary, there are times when Jesus is especially near; other times, he can feel distant, and we wonder what has taken Jesus so long to answer our prayers, just as Martha and Mary do here.  In prayer, when we worship at Mass, when we hear the Scriptures, when we serve the needs of others, Christ is with us in friendship.  His friendship becomes apparent in the times he has assisted us, though we often do not notice till later!

          When Jesus hears that his friend Lazarus is very ill, he deliberately waits four days before arriving, thus insuring Lazarus will die before he arrives.  Martha and Mary, who have a real and living relationship with Jesus, are not afraid to ask the most difficult question: Lord, if you had only arrived sooner, my brother would not have died!  In other words, Martha and Mary point blank ask him, “Lord, what took you so long!”  Martha then follows this comment up with a strong affirmation of her continuing trust in him.  But she is still hurt by Jesus’ apparent inaction, and so, at times are we.

          Jesus, our friend, is both fully human and fully divine.  This story is really the story of Christ’s action in our own homes, that is, our souls.  Christ wishes to come and go freely, and to always feel welcome in our home.  Only grave sin will close the door to him, but even then, he can’t wait to be invited back through the Sacrament of Reconciliation to repair and clean our home after we have blown it again. There will be times, too, when Jesus seems to wait too long, or appears to be absent, but this too is part of his plan for us.  He knows what is best, even if he keeps us waiting for a long time.  Like Martha and Mary, we can always feel free to express our true feelings to Jesus, even when we feel hurt by him, but also to end on a note of trust in Jesus, our friend.                                                                                                                                                                 

 Father Gary


45 posted on 04/06/2014 7:07:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

At Lazarus’ Tomb: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 04.04.14 |

 

Readings:
Ezekiel 37:12-14
Psalm 130:1-8
Romans 8:8-11
John 11:1-45

As we draw near to the end of Lent, today’s Gospel clearly has Jesus’ passion and death in view.

That’s why John gives us the detail about Lazarus’ sister, Mary - that she is the one who anointed the Lord for burial (see John 12:3,7). His disciples warn against returning to Judea; Thomas even predicts they will “die with Him” if they go back.

When Lazarus is raised, John notices the tombstone being taken away, as well as Lazarus’ burial cloths and head covering - all details he later notices with Jesus’ empty tomb (see John 20:1,6,7).

Like the blind man in last week’s readings, Lazarus represents all humanity. He stands for “dead man” - for all those Jesus loves and wants to liberate from the bands of sin and death.

John even recalls the blind man in his account today (see John 11:37). Like the man’s birth in blindness, Lazarus’ death is used by Jesus to reveal “the glory of God” (see John 9:3). And again like last week, Jesus’ words and deeds give sight to those who believe (see John 11:40).

If we believe, we will see - that Jesus loves each of us as He loved Lazarus, that He calls us out of death and into new life.

By His Resurrection Jesus has fulfilled Ezekiel’s promise in today’s First Reading. He has opened the graves that we may rise, put His Spirit in us that we may live. This is the Spirit that Paul writes of in today’s Epistle. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will give life to we who were once dead in sin.

Faith is the key. If we believe as Martha does in today’s Gospel - that Jesus is the resurrection and the life - even if we die, we will live.

“I have promised and I will do it,” the Father assures us in the First Reading. We must trust in His word, as we sing in today’s Psalm - that with Him is forgiveness and salvation.


46 posted on 04/06/2014 7:15:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Sacred Page

"I'm Back!": The Raising of Lazarus, 5th Sunday of Lent

 

Unlike the other Gospels, John recounts only a limited number of miracles of Jesus, which he designates as “signs,” a rare term in the other Gospels.  Although John tells us of only a few miracles, he describes them in much greater depth than the other gospel writers do.  This is quite evident in this weekend’s Gospel reading, in which we get a very lengthy description of all the events surrounding the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead.

 

 

The Raising of Lazarus is the sixth of the seven “signs” of the Gospel of John: [1] The Water to Wine (John 2), [2] the Healing of the Official’s Son (John 4), [3] the Healing of the Paralytic at Bethesda (John 5), [4] the Feeding of the 5,000 (John 6), [5] The Healing of the Man Born Blind (John 9), [6] the Raising of Lazarus (John 11), and [7] the Death and Resurrection of Jesus (John 19-20).  The signs seem to escalate as the Gospel progresses.  The Healing of the Man Born Blind (last Sunday’s reading) was pretty impressive, but raising Lazarus is going to top it.  The Gospel is building toward the seventh and final sign, the Resurrection of Christ.

 

The First Reading is an excellent choice: Ezekiel 37.  This is the famous vision of the Dry Bones, after which an entire dead army of skeletons is resurrected before Ezekiel’s eyes.  Afterward, God explains the meaning of the vision:

 

Reading 1 Ezekiel 37:12-14

Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

 

I only wish the Lectionary included the entire story.  However, it does preserve the most important verse:

 

“You shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and have you rise from them, O my people!”  Ezek 37:12

 

Thus, when Jesus opens Lazarus’ grave and causes him to rise, we know that Jesus is “the LORD,” that is, YHWH, the God of Israel.  The sign of Lazarus’ resurrection points to the divinity of Christ.

 

Now, most study bibles will have notes in the margin or the bottom of the page informing the reader that this passage from Ezekiel 37 has nothing to do with resurrection from the dead, but only pertains to the restoration of the national hopes of Israel.

 

It is true that it pertains to the national hopes of Israel.  However, the ancient manuscripts of Ezekiel were circulated without the notes in the RSVCE2 or NAB, etc., and the ancient readers tended to assume that, since the text explicitly describes resurrection from the dead, it was about the resurrection of the dead.  How silly the ancients were!

 

The issue has to do with God’s promises to Israel.  In Ezekiel’s lifetime (c. 637-572 BC), many Israelites were nearing death in exile and realizing that they would never see the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises personally.  So was their faith in God meaningless?

 

The point of Ezekiel’s vision is this:  “If he has to, O Israelites, God will drag you out of your graves in order to fulfill his covenant promises to you.  So your faith is not in vain!”  God is able to do the unthinkable in able to be faithful to his word.

 

The same is true for us.  The basis of Christian hope is in the resurrection from the dead, because in this life none of us receives the fullness of all the good that God has promised us in Christ. 

 

2.  The Psalm, the famous Psalm 130 (De Profundis), dovetails with the theme of resurrection:

Responsorial Psalm Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8:

R/ (7) With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the LORD.
R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R/ With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

 

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!”  What depth is deeper than that of death?  God’s salvation reaches even the realm of the dead, the biblical Sheol, the lowest level of the cosmos in biblical cosmology.  The Psalm is thus understood as the cry of the penitent soul from Sheol.  Though the soul knows of his iniquities, nonetheless he hopes in God’s abundant mercy and awaits the resurrection: “more than sentinels wait for the dawn, let Israel wait for the LORD.”

 

3.  The Second Reading, from Romans 8:8-11, continues the theme of resurrection from the dead. 

Reading 2 Rom 8:8-11:

Brothers and sisters:
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit dwelling in you.

 

 

St. Paul speaks first of all of spiritual life and death: to be in sin is spiritual death; to be in Christ is to be alive.  But the spiritual reality has implications for physical reality.  Christ “will give life to our mortal bodies also.”  The Church continues, obstinately, to believe not just in the resurrection of the “dead,” but the resurrection of the “body.”  Our disembodied spirits wearing halos and playing harps on clouds is a non-Christian vision.  While the next life retains many mysteries, we will certainly have a new body.

 

4.  The Gospel is the account of the Raising of Lazarus:

 

Gospel John 11:1-45

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.
So the sisters sent word to him saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.

 

When Jesus hears of the illness of Lazarus, he actually delays his travel to Bethany, because he loves the whole family!  So we see that the death and resurrection of Lazarus is a “premeditated” act of Jesus’ love.

 

By the time Jesus arrives in Bethany, Lazarus has been dead four days.  As many have pointed out, the Jewish understanding was that the first three days of death were an intermediate state, in which the soul stayed close to the body.  But after three days, death was final.  It’s a bit like Billy Crystal’s routine as Miracle Max when examining the dead body of Wesley in The Princess Bride.  “There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead!”  In this case, Lazarus is all dead.


Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
Jesus answered,
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.”
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
“Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“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.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

 

Martha is consistently the more extroverted and proactive of the two sisters.  While Mary sits and weeps, Martha goes to meet Jesus, and more or less rebukes him: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  But she is not subtle about what she wants Jesus to do: “Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” 

 

Martha gets a bad rap in the gospels, always being compared unfavorably with her sister Mary, who “chose what is better.”  But look at her profession of faith in the rest of this dialogue with Jesus, which always profoundly moves me: ‘Yes, Lord.  I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world!”  Homerun, Martha!  I want to be like her.  This is a confession that ranks with that of Peter and Thomas in other parts of the Gospels.  Which raises an interesting question: Does the text of John 11 suggest that the resurrection of Lazarus is in part a response to Martha’s faith-filled request?


When she had said this,
she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
“The teacher is here and is asking for you.”
As soon as she heard this,
she rose quickly and went to him.
For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
but was still where Martha had met him.
So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
they followed her,
presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”


When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.

 

Mary comes to Jesus and repeats Martha’s implicit protest as she falls at the Lord’s feet: “Lord, if you had been here ...”

 

In response to Mary’s weeping and that of the other mourners, Jesus becomes “perturbed”—in verse 33 and also 38.  The Greek word used here (embrimaomai) is very strong—“he became angry within himself.”  What is the cause of Jesus’ anger?  The brute fact of death in a fallen, sinful world?  A lack of faith among the mourners?  Commentators have not come to a satisfactory consensus.  Surely, though, one of the purposes of St. John in reported the emotion of Jesus is to stress his sharing in our human nature, including the depth of human emotion.  It is often said that the Gospel of John portrays Jesus as most clearly divine among all the Gospels; at the same time, John portrays Jesus in some of the most deeply human moments of his ministry: “Jesus wept.”

 

It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”

 

The Lord commands the stone to be taken from Lazarus’ tomb, but Martha intervenes with a very down-to-earth and prosaic objection: “Lord, there will be a stench ...”  So practical: the response of someone accustomed to good housekeeping and high standards of hygiene.

 

Our Lord points out that her worries are in contradiction to her expression of faith only a few minutes earlier.


So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

 

 

The calling forth of Lazarus, as dramatic as it is, remains only a miracle in the physical order.

 

The greater miracles are in the realm of the spirit.  Though it may not seem so to us, the redemption of the world is a greater act than its creation.

 

The raising of Lazarus, like the previous Lenten gospels from John (chs. 4, 9) points to Baptism.

 

Paul says “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Rom 6:4).  In fact, Romans 6:1-14 is the appropriate follow-up and application of the message of John 11:

 

Rom. 6:1   What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?  3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

 

Rom. 6:5   For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.  6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.  7 For he who has died is freed from sin.  8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.  9 For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.  10 The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.  11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

 

Rom. 6:12   Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.  13 Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but yield yourselves to God as men who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments of righteousness.  14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

 

The link we observe between sin and death in this passage from St. Paul has a striking connection to the narrative of Lazarus: when Jesus commands Lazarus to be “loosed” and “let go,” he employs the Greek verbs luô—elsewhere used of being loosed from Satan’s power (Luke 13:16; 1 John 3:8), from sin (Rev 1:5), and death (Acts 2:24)—and aphiêmi, which usually meaning “forgiven of sin” in the Gospels.  This resurrection, then, is also a “release” and “remission” of sin, death, and Satan, a further typification of Baptism.

 

“But even the raising of the dead to life, the miracle by which a corpse is reanimated with its natural life, is almost nothing in comparison with the resurrection of a soul, which has been lying spiritually dead in sin and has now been raised to the essentially supernatural life of grace.”  Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, The Three Conversions in the Spiritual life (Rockford, Ill.: TAN, 2002), 15

 

“The justification of the ungodly is something greater than the creation of heaven and earth, greater even than the creation of the angels.” St. Augustine, The City of God, Book IV, chapter 9.


47 posted on 04/06/2014 7:17:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

5th Sunday of Lent: "Lazarus Come out!"

 

(Henry Tanner)

 

"I am the resurrection and the life."

 

The Word: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/040614.cfm

 

 

Ez 37: 12 – 14
Rm 8: 8-11
Jn 11: 1-45

Not long after I first came to this parish and was still learning the who’s who and the what’s what, I was handed four funerals within the first months.  Celebrating a funeral was not something new to me but all four of them were children.  None were related to each other but they were two little ones less than one year old one child about nine and another in her early teens.  You can imagine the grief of the parents.  

 

As I surveyed the community I wondered, not wishing for more funerals, why God would permit the death of four very young lives and spare the death of folks who were 90 plus.  Of course, I didn’t have an answer but just needed to accept the truth that God has his ways and reasons for ending life and for sustaining life.  This Sunday’s Gospel provides an answer, however, that should bring us all some comfort as we approach the mystery and joy of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.  

 

Many in Jesus’ time must have likewise wondered why he was so brutally murdered. But faith is the only true answer.  God does not promise what he cannot deliver.  As a result, Jesus words and actions never went without a purpose and always hit their mark. What he says is true.  

 

In our Preface this Sunday we hear: “As true man he wept for Lazarus his friend and as eternal God raised him from the tomb, just as, taking pity on the human race, he leads us by sacred mysteries to new life . . .”

 

These beautiful words sum up for us the essence of this most dramatic miracle we hear of in our Gospel which Jesus performed: the resuscitation, not resurrection, of Lazarus from the dead.  Not only is Jesus’ humanity revealed as “Jesus wept” for his friend Lazarus but then as the Son of God, Lazarus himself came out of the tomb at the command of Jesus, “come out!”– from death to life. Considering the other readings this Sunday, our theme of resurrection and new life in Christ is starkly obvious.

 

In Ezekiel we hear: “O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them . . . I will put my spirit in you that you may live.”

 

St. Paul in Romans writes: “If the Spirit of the One who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the One who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you.”

 

And in the central line of John’s Gospel this Sunday we hear Jesus proclaim: “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.”

 

For ancient Israel, hundreds of years before Jesus appearance, it was a time of hope in restoration to new life after its exile.  A return to the Promised Land was hoped for, so Ezekiel uses an image which gives them that hope but also foreshadows the greater hope of resurrection after death.  St. Paul and St. John seem directly connected to Christ this Sunday who fulfills that hope for all who believe.

 

Yet, in spite of all this scriptural promise, the experience of death remains so final. But, Jesus never promised something he could not or would not deliver.  God does not make empty statements, play tricks on us or lead us down a blind path deliberately.  What kind of God would that be? So, it seems the context of Lazarus’ situation may indeed be an important point of the story.

 

St. John makes sure we know that Lazarus was not comatose, temporarily unconscious, holding his breath pretending to be dead, or that Mary, Martha and Jesus were in on a plot to simulate a miracle and win Jesus great praise.  No, Lazarus was indeed dead as dead could be.  Wrapped tightly in the burial shroud and sealed in the tomb. Martha said to Jesus about her brother’s condition: “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” So, in the presence of death and the smell of decay Jesus approaches the tomb. What will he do?

 

With profound faith, Martha ran to Jesus and knew that he could do something even at this seemingly final moment when she said to him: “But even now, I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Am I willing to trust God so implicitly that even at the most desperate moments of life, I will still turn to him?

 

Martha’s faith must have deeply impressed Jesus. I believe she is an icon of Christian faith.  No matter what may seem impossible God will still step in. While our loved ones in death do not just suddenly walk out of their casket – could you imagine that? Our faith is one that does not give way to despair.  We are a people who do not live in the past or look back and survive only on memories.  

 

We are called to move forward and to trust that despite the obstacles and barriers that seem to at the least slow us down and at the worse stop us in our tracks our faith cannot be bound tightly in burial cloths.  We should never close the tomb and walk away seeking answers in places that will never bring us hope.  Like Martha, it is our faith in Christ alone who is “resurrection and life” that can alleviate the deepest fears we have.  How can one live without it? In his humanity Jesus walks in our shoes.  In his divinity Jesus invites us to trust.  It is easy? No it isn’t.  

 

What was it was like when Lazarus died again? We don’t know when that was or what caused his death – again - but obviously this time Jesus was likely not present for he had his own cross to carry. How did Martha and Mary feel at that moment if they survived him? We may wonder if it was softened by the experience of Lazarus’ resuscitation by Jesus and his words to Mary about resurrection and life. Their faith was strong.

 

While Lazarus was not resurrected but rather resuscitated his return to life foreshadowed the resurrection of Jesus.  But Jesus’ resurrection was such that he lives eternally as humanity and divinity are forever joined. As Jesus states to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

 

This dramatic story as Jesus encounters Martha, the sister of Lazarus who he knew well along with her sister Mary and Lazarus himself, elicits from Martha what strikes me as a same confession of faith which Peter had made.  Martha states: “I have come to believe that you are the Christ the Son of God.”  Doesn’t that sound familiar?  

 

Matthew 16: 13-17 relates the conversation with the Disciples in which Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter blurts out with conviction, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”  While Martha was not given the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” as Peter was, her confession of faith in Jesus strikes me as a conviction we must all have.  If we’re going to fall in love with the Church, we must first fall in love with Jesus Christ and know him as he is: “Christ, the Son of God.”

 

The Preface states above: “He (Jesus) leads us by sacred mysteries to new life.” As we look towards Easter and the birth of new Christians among us we know those “sacred mysteries” refer to Baptism and Eucharist and the other sacraments.  The presence of Christ in and through them brings the grace of salvation.  

 

May our celebration of the Holy Eucharist be for us a living encounter with the risen Christ who says to us as he did to Martha: “Do you believe this?”

 

By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God,

may we walk eagerly in that same charity

with which, out of love for the world,

your Son handed himself over to death.

 

(Collect of 5th Sunday in Lent)

 


48 posted on 04/06/2014 7:30:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Insight Scoop

Staring Death in the Face

"Raising of Lazarus" by Giotto di Bondone (c. 1304-06)

A Scripural Reflection on the Readings for April 6, 2014 | Fifth Sunday of Lent | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
• Ez. 37:12-14
• Psa. 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
• Rom. 8:8-11
• Jn. 11:1-45

“Lazarus, come out!” 

With that simple, dramatic command, the Incarnate Word spoke words that demonstrated his power over death. It concludes one of the most fascinating stories in the Fourth Gospel, St. John’s account of the last of seven miraculous “signs” performed by Jesus Christ.

Let’s start at the beginning. Jesus’ close friend, Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, had been very ill. When Jesus received word that Lazarus was on the cusp of death, he did not hurry to his friend’s deathbed, but waited two more days before journeying to Bethany, just a couple of miles from Jerusalem. The illness, he told the disciples, would not “end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Those words could also be applied, in an even deeper way, to the sufferings and death of Jesus himself. 

And there is no doubt that Jesus was completely aware of his approaching Passion. In fact, the death and raising of Lazarus—Jesus’ final miracle before his Passion—set the stage for the death and resurrection of Jesus himself. This incredible sign in Bethany was a promise and a foreshadowing of what was to come in Jerusalem. It was, so to speak, a warning shot to death itself. “The One who is making his way toward death,” wrote Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar, “wishes to stare death in the face in advance. That is why he deliberately lets Lazarus die despite the pleas of his friends.” It was also so that the disciples and the others present would believe, for the love of God engenders faith and provides hope in the face of darkness, suffering, and death. 

This is evident in the moving words of Martha, who expressed some bewilderment at the delayed arrival of Jesus—“Lord, if you had been here…”—but then remarked, with fragile faith, “But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” To which Jesus simply stated, “Your brother will rise.” St. Peter Chrysologus wrote of this exchange: “This woman does not believe, but she is trying to believe, while her unbelief is disturbing her belief.” It is a perfect description of so many of us, wanting to believe more and to believe more deeply, but struggling to believe amid the tumult of this earthly life.  

Martha expressed her belief in “the resurrection on the last day”, but it sounds, I think, somewhat forced and obligatory. She knew what she should believe, but at that moment, she wasn’t sure what she believed. Which is why Jesus uttered these profound and transforming words: “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.” Martha’s faith, which had been tattered and fluttering in the cold winds of death, was revived and enlivened. Asked by the Word if she believes his words, she confessed her faith, just like Peter: “I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God…” (cf. Matt 16:16). 

The Gospel of John is often said to focus mostly on the divinity of Jesus. But it contains one of the most poignant, human moments in all of the Gospels, captured in three simple words: “And Jesus wept.” This was not, however, the loud and emotional wailing that usually accompanied death and funerals, but the tears of a man who bears sorrow but also holds the keys to life. 

The Son sent by the Father had entered the world as a babe in a dark cave. Obeying the will of the Father, he would soon be carried as a man into a dark tomb for burial. But there, standing between those two events, he stared into the cave and the jaws of death, and cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

And, we believe and know, the dead man came out. Alive.

(This "Opening the Word" column orgiinally appeared in the April 10, 2011, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


49 posted on 04/06/2014 7:40:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Vultus Christi

Lazare, veni foras!

Friday, 04 April 2014 09:04

Caravaggio’s Resurrection of Lazarus depicts a dead man stunned by his sudden return to life. The head of Christ is the very one Caravaggio painted in his Calling of Saint Matthew, but here it is reversed.

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
John 11:1-45

The Divine and Mystic Gospel

During these last days of Lent, the Church opens for us the Gospel of Saint John, the divine and mystic Gospel, the Gospel that, on every page, shines with the brightness of Christ’s divinity. The Lenten series of Johannine gospels are directed, first of all, to the catechumens, men and women in the last stages of preparation for the mysteries of initiation that will be celebrated in the night of Pascha. The same Gospels are addressed to the penitents, men and women who, having fallen, seek to rise again, washed in the pure water of the Spirit, and infused anew with the life-giving Blood of the Lamb. The Lenten liturgy is profitable to us only insofar as we identify inwardly with the catechumens and penitents, only insofar as we walk with them towards the mysteries of regeneration and reconciliation that ever flow from the Passion and Resurrection of Christ.

Water

On Friday of the Third Week of Lent we heard the promise of living water made by Christ to the Samaritan woman at the well (Jn 4:14). Each of us is the Samaritan woman; to each of us is disclosed the mystery of the thirst of Christ and to each of us is promised the “spring of water welling up to eternal life” (Jn 4:14).

Light

On Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent we witnessed the drama of the man born blind to whom Christ gave sight, light, and new life (Jn 9:11). Each of us is that man born blind; to each of us is promised and given the gladsome light of Christ.

Life

Today, we follow a very human Christ, a tender and weeping Christ, to the tomb of one greatly loved (Jn 11:34-35). It is four days since the burial of Lazarus; already his body has begun to stink. Each of us is that stinking corpse, bound tightly in the shroud, and belonging already to the darkness of the netherworld.

Divine Promises

Listen with the catechumen’s eager ears to the glorious promises of Ezekiel’s prophecy! “Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live” (Ez 37:12-14). These promises, fulfilled once in the resurrection of Lazarus, are fulfilled again and again in the life of the Church, and principally in the night of Resurrection, in the great baptismal Vigil that Saint Augustine calls the “mother of all vigils.”

Three things are promised, three things are given to every Lazarus of every age and of every place: the resurrection from the grave, the experience of the Risen Christ, Lord of Life and Victor over death, and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. What was promised by the mouth of the prophet is fulfilled in Christ. What is fulfilled in Christ the Head is actualized again and again for the members of His Body in the mysteries (sacraments) of the Church. So often as Lazarus is baptized, chrismated, nourished with the Body and Blood of Christ, reconciled and healed there is even now triumph over the grave and the return from corruption, there is even now the experience of Christ the Lord of Life in the face of death, there is even now the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit whose sweet fragrance dispels forever the sickening stench of the tomb.

Lazarus

How do we come to identify with Lazarus? Is it by an exercise of imagination? Is it by a trick of the intelligence? Is it the effect of overheated emotions or pious sentimentality? The liturgy, let it be said once and for all, deals not in sentimentality, but in reality! The reality of Lazarus, dead and four days in the tomb, discloses to us the horror — and the glory — of our own reality. The sacraments constitute the ultimate reality concealed and revealed in sacred signs, in matter perceptible to the senses yet charged with the divinizing energies of the Holy Ghost.

Christ, True God and True Man

The Gospel of the resurrection of Lazarus has, from the beginning, captivated the attention of the Church. As man, Christ the friend loved Lazarus with the tenderness of human affection; as God, Christ the Redeemer loves him with the indefectible charity of the Father and the Holy Ghost. As man, Christ shudders to hear of His friend’s illness; as God, Christ rejoices, saying, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of man may be glorified by it” (Jn 11:4). As man, Christ was deeply moved in spirit and wept over the friend He loved (Jn 11:33-35); as God, He grieved over a humanity held in death’s cold grip and infecting all creation with the stench of evil. As man, Christ asked, “Where have you laid him?” (Jn 11:34); as the God whose gaze searches the heavens and probes the depths of the earth, He already knew. As man, Christ stood before the stone-sealed tomb and shuddered; as God, He “cried out with a loud voice” (Jn 11:43), a voice that caused Hades to tremble, that shook the power of the Enemy, that overturned the infernal abodes.

Lazarus, Come Forth!

The Communion Antiphon of today’s Mass is, without any doubt, one of the most powerful marriages of text and melody found in the repertoire of Catholic worship. “When the Lord saw the sisters of Lazarus in tears near the tomb, He wept in the presence of the Jews and cried, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ And out he came, hands and feet bound, the man who had been dead for four days” (Jn 11: 33, 35, 43, 39). All description of it falls short; one must hear this text repeated again and again as the faithful make their way to the altar to receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Better yet, one must sing it allowing it to impress and express the power of Christ calling each us out of the tomb. “Lazare, veni foras! — Lazarus, come forth!”

Out of Darkness

Today, here and now, as we receive His life-giving Body and Blood, Christ stands fearless before the tomb of our lives, calling us forth, summoning us out of darkness and the stench of death into the brightness and fragrance of life with Him, facing the Father, in the Holy Spirit. “Unbind him, and let him go” (Jn 11:44) is His command to the ministering Church, that those delivered from the grave may live unfettered and free in the light of day.

The words of Saint Paul are eucharistically fulfilled. “If Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He Who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you” (Rom 8:9-11).

The Most Holy Eucharist

Let us know ourselves to be Lazarus that we might know Christ as the Resurrection and the Life (Jn 11:25). Already, the altar beckons; by the stone of the altar are we freed from the stone tomb. The Most Holy Eucharist is Christ in us. The Most Holy Eucharist is every spirit vivified in the righteousness of Christ Who alone is holy, Who alone is Lord. The Most Holy Eucharist is the gift of the Spirit; the Most Holy Eucharist is the pledge of resurrection; the Most Holy Eucharist is the fragrance of life dispelling the stench of death; the Most Holy Eucharist is the song of victory emerging “out of the depths” (Ps 130:1) to fill the heavens and the earth with glory. “The teacher is here and is calling for you” (Jn 11:28). Like Mary of Bethany, let us rise quickly and go to Him.


50 posted on 04/06/2014 7:49:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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