Reflection on the Fifth Sunday of Lent | The Eternal Life
By: Tanzila Malik

Introduction:
Today we are participating in the fifth Sunday of the Lenten Season. The central theme of today’s reading is the Eternal Life. It is time to remember the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church reminds us that all human being have to die but as Jesus was raised to life; all those who believe in him will live.

Opening Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, ever loving Son of the Father, we thank you for your great sacrifice by suffering for our sins and dying on the cross. Give us your grace so that we may understand your suffering and repent for our sins and glorify your name. Ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

First Reading:
Ezekiel: 37:12-14

Response Hymn:
On a hill far away stood an old rugged Cross

Second Reading:
Romans 8: 8-11

Gospel: John 11:1-45
Today’s Gospel is taken from the Gospel of St. John in which Jesus promises to bring back the life which was lost because of sin and Satan. As he raised Lazarus from the dead he will raised all our mortal bodies. Those who believe in Jesus Christ will inherit the eternal life.

Reflection:
The central point in today’s reading is faith. When we reflect on the Word of God which Jesus proclaimed in the Gospel he says, I am the resurrection and the life, anyone who believes in me will never die.

The Word of God increase our faith, when we hear in the first reading what Ezekiel says that God will put his spirit in you will live.

In the second reading St. Paul in his letter to the Romans says that all human being have to trust and believe in Jesus Christ, because Jesus will give you the same spirit which raised him from the dead so that anyone who believe in him will have eternal life.

Jesus is said to have loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, but the scene described in the Gospel of John at Bethany is a sad one. Maratha meets Jesus weeping and saying that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would have not died. Jesus consoles Maratha and Mary and ask to be brought to Lazarus’ tomb where he prays and calls Lazarus out from the tomb. At this sign, Mary came to believe in Jesus, but others take word of the miracle to the Jewish authorities, who begin their plans for Jesus’ death.

The event of raising Lazarus from the dead foreshadows the good news of Jesus’ own Resurrection. Jesus shows his power over death so that when Jesus dies those who believe in him might remember that and take hope.

In Baptism we die to sin’s power over us, rising as children of God. In Baptism we join ourselves with Christ, who conquered death once and for all so that we who believe in him may have eternal life. With Martha and Mary we are called to profess our belief that Jesus is indeed the Resurrection and the life.

The healing power of Jesus brings new life to all of us. Are there some things in our lives that cause us to die to other? Perhaps we are impatient, ungrateful, critical, or quick to anger. Maybe we’re proud, boastful, or envious. Jesus promises us new life if we trust in him and allow our actions to follow his ways.

Questions for Reflection:
• How can we participate the suffering if Jesus Christ?
• Do you believe and completely trust in Jesus Christ?
• What is the importance of great sacrifice which Jesus Christ endured for you?

Final Prayer:
Our loving Father, we bow before you and adore you. Your loving Son bore our sins on the Cross and died for our sins. Give us your grace so that we may abstain from sins and glorify your holy name, through Christ our Lord, Amen.

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