Its worth reading the full text of today’s scripture.
Death is an inevitable reality. We choose not to think about it too often because we need to get on with living life – and living it to the fullest. There are times, events, situations and occasions which remind us about this inevitable reality. Today’s gospel is one such occasion. What do we really believe about death? What do I believe about my death?
At their Baptism at the Easter Vigil the Catechumens will be asked “What do you ask of God’s Church?” they will answer “Faith.” Next they will be asked “What does faith offer you?” They will respond “Eternal Life!”
These are more than correct responses. This is the TRUTH of our faith! Faith offers us eternal life. When Jesus proclaims “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,” he asks Mary, “Do you believe this?” She responds “Yes Lord I believe.”
Today Jesus asks us the same “Do you believe this?”
Do we really? This entire Lenten Journey of renewal, change, transformation and metanoia – change of heart, prepares us for the renewal of our faith at Easter and for the final Easter of our lives – when Christ will come again – our own personal Easter! This is why its worth taking our faith seriously; it captures, in these short six weeks, our journey from life to death to eternal life!
Someday the body of our earthly dwelling will lie in death. We spend so much time, effort, energy and expense on these earthly bodies which eventually surccumb to death – and rightly so – up to a point, because our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and we have been made holy and sanctified through Bapttism and our regular reception of the Eucharist. But what what happens when this body of our earthly dwelling lies in death? We will gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven. WOW! This is the extraordinary truth of our faith. The daily lived reality of faith makes us immortal.!
When Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead today he demonstrates that he is the Lord and master over the living and the dead – truly the Resurrection and the Life! Raising Lazarus from the dead prefigures Jesus’ own resurrection – that death will have no power over him. We who share in his life through the gift and lived reality of faith, will also be able to triumph over death. The life and faith we have in Jesus is his resurrected and glorified life. “Do you believe this?”
Personal sin stains the dignity of faith we were given at Baptism. None of us wants to die in the state of sin. The Sacrament of Reconciliation restores the dignity of our Baptism as our sins are forgiven. Although there will not be a Penitential Service due to the lockdown, do an Examination of Conscience and ask for God’s forgiveness.
Yes Lord I believe! Strengthen my little faith so that I may journey through life with courage and the certainty that through living with you and dying with you, I will rise with you. Amen. Change my Heart O God! Amen.