Sunday, April 2
Fifth Sunday of Lent
John 11:3-7, 17, 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.”
“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.
Today’s Gospel includes the answer to a common trivia question: what is the shortest verse of the Bible? It’s a trick question if asked by a biblical scholar, because they will tell you it is Luke 20:30 in the original Greek texts. But the answer that is usually intended is the shortest verse of the famous King James Version translation, which is “Jesus wept.”
This text is interesting not only for its brevity but for its dogmatic import. There were some people in the early centuries of the Church who could not understand how Jesus could be both God and Man. They taught that either Jesus was God but not truly human, or that he was a very holy man but not divine. The Church rebutted these erroneous ideas in ecumenical council, and held faithfully to the teaching of the Apostles: no matter how hard it is for us to grasp, Jesus is truly God and truly Man.
Our Gospel passage for today affirms this great truth. In a very real and physical way, the Second Person of the Trinity, by His Incarnation, has wept tears of grief. God has truly wept for His loved ones. Even though Our Lord knew He would soon raise Lazarus, that did not stop Him from feeling the full weight of grief, of experiencing the loss of His dear friend.
Jesus not only wept, but even as He steps before the tomb to perform His miracle, the Evangelist tells us that He was “perturbed again” (“deeply moved,” “groaning,” in other translations). Jesus’ face was still wet with grief even as He prepared to call Lazarus forth from the grave. And so we can be sure that Jesus is there with us in our weeping as we lay our loved ones to rest. Even though we know they will rise again at the Last Day, we still feel the full weight of grief and loss.
We should not be ashamed of or fight our grief. In our tears, we are merely following the example of Our Lord Himself.
OPERATION RICE BOWL: WEEK 5
Care for God’s Creation
Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Care for God’s Creation, we remember that God created every plant, every mountaintop, every animal — everything. And God said that these things are good. We find God in these good things, and so we must take care of creation, both for ourselves and for all of our human family.
Dita, her husband and their seven children depend on the money they earn selling crops from their small farm in Ethiopia. But frequent droughts often mean that families like Dita’s who depend on home-grown crops go hungry. And amidst the current, historic drought, more than 10 million people are struggling with hunger.
But thanks to a CRS program that helps families prepare for crises like droughts, Dita was able to build a new house and open a small store. Instead of relying solely on what she can grow on her farm, she is able to sell items like pasta, shampoo and bananas. She earns a steady $400 a month.
“Before, I had to get eggs from my neighbors. Now I have 15 hens,” she proclaims. Saving money and being able to borrow not only allowed her to buy hens but also a metal roof for her new house, a rarity for families in this part of Ethiopia.
“Now we have no problems with food,” she says. Unlike families across Ethiopia that struggle to find enough to eat, Dita says her children eat three times a day, thanks to her newfound business knowledge.
And what’s more, all her children are attending school. “When I was a child, there were no education opportunities,” she says. Then, with a shy but proud smile, she adds, “That’s a big difference.”
Follow the link to learn more about CRS’ work in Ethiopia. http://www.crs.org/our-work-overseas/where-we-work/ethiopia?_ga=1.48200420.21127280.1453232487
Try a simple meal from Ethiopia: Injera with atkilt wat. http://www.crsricebowl.org/recipes/injera-with-atkilt-wat