Selection of the sermons of Father Ezekiel Oko

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Sermon for 5nd Sunday of Lent in the reading year: B

I am the resurrection and the life

Dear sisters and brothers, we are already in the fifth week of Lent. Four weeks are already behind us. But when time flies so quickly, it is important not to lose sight of the meaning of the Easter Penitential Season. The meaning is the encounter with Jesus, who heals us from the wound of sin, who awakens faith where it is lacking, who gives hope in all the hopeless situations of life, who gives life where death threatens us, which threatens us in all that proves his love.

Do you remember that the readings of the last four Sundays have told us the stories of people who have experienced this transforming power of the Lord in their lives:

One was the story of Jesus' disciples who were in despair but whose faith was strengthened by the experience of Jesus' transfiguration. Another time it was a woman who thirsted for the meaning of life and found orientation through an encounter with Jesus.

In Last Sunday's Gospel, a blind man is healed not only of the blindness of his organic eyes but also of his heart and soul. These are all people who met Jesus in concrete need and difficult situations and experienced his love.

Today we are told of the death of Lazarus, whom Jesus brought back to life. The story of Lazarus is to be understood both as a concrete story and in a figurative sense. On the one hand it is the story of a concrete situation, the experience of a concrete person who was dead but came back to life. This perspective of history makes us realize how painful the death of a loved one is.

The two sisters of Lazarus - Mary and Martha - wept and mourned a lot. They were heartbroken at the death of their brother Lazarus, as were all who knew Lazarus. We hear twice from Jesus that he “was agitated and shaken to the core”, yes, in this single case he even wept, that is, deeply human.

All of this is no stranger to us today. Death, sorrow, mourning, in families, in whole peoples. Each of us has cried and mourned as much as Mary and Martha did at the death of someone close to us. A few months ago I was in such a situation. I also cried several times during the celebration of Holy Masses here, when I was praying for my late mother. How painful death is for those left behind!

The story of Lazarus does not end with his death. Yes, Jesus was there, helping the relatives, showing his sincere condolences, in words and in deep gestures. But more than that, he brought Lazarus to life.

"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even if he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” are the words of Jesus to Martha! Jesus doesn't just want to give Martha false hope with these words. He is serious. He wants to prove that not death has the last word, but life. He wants to show that even the last enemy of human life, death, will be overcome.

Therein, dear sisters and brothers, lies the message of today's Gospel: that, accompanied by Jesus, we can overcome all the difficulties of life - not always as we want, but according to his wisdom and plan for us.

We need faith, faith that Jesus will bring us back to life, that everything will be fine again because he accompanies us. Jesus asks Martha: "Do you believe that?". This is also the decisive question for us: Do we believe that?

We experience that not only people who are close to our hearts can 'die'. (Here we are considering 'death' in a figurative sense.) Other things we hold dear can also die. An important relationship is a good example of this. she can die And when that happens, we feel a deep sadness. Even a project that we have made our life project can die. We can experience such an event as very painful and become heartbroken.

Dear sister, dear brother, I don't know what died in your life that was very important to you. I don't know what you're mourning about now that it's gone. I just want to tell you one thing: don't give up hope, hope that everything will be fine. Don't let your faith die in the One who can make everything right. He tells us: I can give life again. Do you think the?

Gospel of 5nd Sunday of Lent in the reading year B;