Welcome to our Bible Study. 5 th Sunday of Lent A April 6, 2014 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing. Prepared by Fr. Cielito R. Almazan, OFM. 1 st reading: Ezekiel 37,12-14.
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
5th Sunday of Lent A
April 6, 2014
In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy
As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing
Prepared by Fr. Cielito R. Almazan, OFM
The focus is on bringing the dead back to life.
The reading is re-indented for easier understanding.
12 Thus says the Lord GOD: O my people,
Ezekiel is a prophet of the Babylonian Exile (586-539 BC).
He speaks on behalf of God to the Israelites in exile.
Using a figure of speech, God promises:
“I will open your graves…” (vv.12 and 13).
His purpose is indicated in vv.13 and 14.
“You will know that I am the Lord.”
Opening of graves and having them rise from them means bringing them back to the land of Israel.
To settle in Israel is the dream of each Israelite in exile. God concurs with that dream.
The last line of the reading indicates God’s determination to fulfill his promise. He will do it.1st reading: Ezekiel 37,12-14
R. (7) With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;LORD, hear my voice!2 Let your ears be attentiveto my voice in supplication.
3 If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,LORD, who can stand?4 But with you is forgiveness,that you may be revered.
5 I trust in the LORD;my soul trusts in his word.6 More than sentinels wait for the dawn,let Israel wait for the LORD.
7 For with the LORD is kindnessand with him is plenteous redemption;8 And he will redeem Israelfrom all their iniquities.
The psalm is a psalm of lament.
In vv.1-2, the psalmist prays to God that he may listen to him.
In vv.3-4, we come to know what the psalmist is asking for: forgiveness of his iniquities.
In vv.5-6, the psalmist expresses his high quality trust in the Lord.
Vv.7-8 affirm God as merciful and kind, also a redeemer, a forgiving God of Israel.Resp. Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
The focus is living in the Spirit of God.
The reading is about living in the Spirit of God.
At the outset, the topic seems to be how to please God as announced in v.8.
In v.9, the author identifies his audience as living in the Spirit, not in the flesh.
These are Christians in Rome, who have learned how to live according to their baptismal vows.
They belong to Christ because they have his Spirit.
His Spirit is alive in them because Christ is in them. v.10
They will also resurrect like Christ, who once was dead. v.11
The Spirit brings us back to life, although we die because of sin (living in the flesh).2nd reading: Romans 8,8-11
The gospel reading revolves around the death of Lazarus.
But first, in v.3, Lazarus gets sick. His sisters inform Jesus of his condition.
The attentive reader will make a conclusion that Lazarus and Jesus are good friends.
“The one you love is ill.”
For Jesus, Lazarus is not just an ordinary man out there.
Jesus has special feelings for Lazarus.
In v.4, Jesus interprets the illness of Lazarus.
The illness is not to end in death, but for God’s glorification and that of the Son of God.Gospel reading: John 11:3-7,17, 20-27, 33-45
Please read the text along with the commentary, slide by slide.
V.5 indicates the special relationship and affection of Jesus to Lazarus and his 2 sisters.
In v.6, Jesus buys time. He does not go to Lazarus right away.
He waits for two days to pass before he acts on his plan (which he announced in v.4)
In v.7, Jesus now acts. He invites his disciples to go with him.
The house of Lazarus is in Judea (as if Jesus is somewhere in Galilee or Samaria). The preceding verses indicate that Jesus was just in Jerusalem, which is part of Judea.
V.17 indicates the length of time Lazarus stays in the tomb (to highlight the miracle of Jesus).
V.20 portrays two contrasting reactions to the coming of Jesus.
Martha goes to meet him. (active)
Mary sits at home. (passive)
They are still mourning.
In vv.21-22, Martha converses with Jesus and expresses her belief in his extraordinary powers, through his prayers.
In v.23, Jesus assures Martha of the resurrection of his brother.
Martha has no difficulty with this. She believes in the resurrection on the last day. V.24
In vv.25-26, Jesus reveals something new:
“I am the resurrection and the life.”
“Everyone who believes even if he dies, will live.”
In v.27, Martha affirms her belief in Jesus, not just as the resurrection and the life, but also as
The son of God
The one coming into the world (son of man)
In v.33, Jesus is touched at the weeping of Martha and the Jews.
He is affected by their crying and mourning.
In v.34, Jesus asks where they buried him.
The response: “Come and see.” (his own response in John 1,39, when he was asked where he was staying).
In v.35, Jesus weeps.
The Jews interpret his weeping correctly. V.36
In v.37, other people, who had witnessed him heal the blind man, ask a question. They expect him to do another miracle.
At this, Jesus again feels something inside. So, he goes to the tomb. V.38
Now, Jesus begins to perform a miracle by asking that the stone be taken away. V.39
Martha reacts. There is no need to open it. It is smelly by now.
Jesus insists on what he is going to do and Martha must now see the glory of God because she herself has believed in him. V.40
Jesus does not forget what he has promised her upon his arrival.
The people obey him. V.41
In vv.41b-42, Jesus prays to his Father in the hearing of the crowd.
Previously, Martha expressed her belief that God listens to his prayer (v.22).
Now, finally, Jesus performs a miracle by crying out aloud commanding Lazarus to come out. V.43
The dead man obeys. V.44
His physical appearance is described and Jesus commands that he be untied.
V.45 indicates people’s response:
they began to believe in him.
Living in the flesh is a satisfaction of our inordinate and earthly desires, base instincts, unable to transcend vanity.
Living in the flesh is a life of vices, compulsions, addictions, and uncontrolled emotions.
Living in the flesh brings us to death.
Living in the Spirit makes us live, even if we die physically, we will live.
It is being faithful to our vocation as baptized children of God, turning away from sin and living in the Spirit of Christ.
It is living out our dignity as redeemed human beings.
The whole story of Mary, Martha and Lazarus portrays that they are good friends of Jesus.
Jesus is emotionally attached to them, who are not just ordinary disciples and believers.
Out of their developed friendship, Jesus brings Lazarus back to life.
In doing so, Jesus exerts tremendous energy to call on God.
In a loud voice and deep emotions, Jesus addresses himself to the dead man, who now comes back to life.
The miracle is performed to make us listeners and readers to believe in Jesus and to glorify God.
He exerts a lot of effort to invite us to join in his inner circle of friends and to praise God always.
In this season of Lent, our conversion must be to move from thinking only of the self (selfish desires), to a deeper communion (friendship) with Jesus.
We move from sin (living in the flesh) to grace (living in the Spirit).
We move from living like dead, to a life dedicated to giving life to others.
Graft and corruption
Care for the Environment
Spiritual renewals, retreats
Seminars on family life, child rearing, parenting
Decent burial of the deadOur Context of Sin and Grace