Fifth Sunday of Lent


Dear friends in Christ

The last two weeks of this holy Season are termed Passiontide.  The mood and movement of these days is of the suffering and death of Our Lord.  We endeavour to enter into the heart of Jesus as he goes up to Jerusalem to undertake the events of our salvation.  However, as the Gospel of the Raising of Lazarus this Sunday proclaims, the Resurrection follows.  

The Resurrection is the very heart and soul of Christianity. Without the Resurrection, Christianity collapses. It’s the standing and falling point of the Faith. Therefore, to deny the Resurrection is to cease to be Christian. You might pick up bits and pieces of Christianity here and there, and you might follow Jesus as a wise spiritual teacher, but without the Resurrection the whole thing falls apart. 

Speaking more practically, the Resurrection is key to spiritual detachment. If God has a life for us beyond this life, one not so much opposed to this earthly life but inclusive of and beyond it, then I’m able to wear this world much more lightly. I’m not as obsessed with finding my joy here. 

Those who are not convinced of the Resurrection, who believe they’ll just die and that’s it, naturally chase after wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. But once you’re convinced of the Resurrection, you know this world isn’t ultimate. You can let go of those earthly pursuits, stop chasing them, and aspire toward a life on high with God, which is a life of love. Becoming a person of love thus becomes your central goal. 

As we listen to Saint Mathew’s account of the Passion at Mass next Sunday, we can hold in our minds that all of the terrible suffering of Holy Week leads inexorably to the glory of the Resurrection; as we hope and pray it will for us.

God bless you!

Fr Kevin Hale