The first reading from the Book of Wisdom offers an insight into the life and death of Jesus. As the Son of God was triumphant over sin and evil, so we can also place our hope in Christ’s victory as we call upon His grace and face our challenges today.
Jesus will judge us by our deeds and the consequences will be eternal. Yet this just judge is also our savior who knows our sins and has paid the price with his own blood. When we stand before him and look upon the face of Compassion, will we accept his mercy as we acknowledge our sins?
A crippled man is healed by Jesus, and some people get hung up on a religious rule. It’s a good reminder for us: to count our blessings and focus on what is precious so that we understand the gift of life in its proper perspective.
Let’s take a step back and look at the these readings:
1st – Ezekiel tells the people that the Lord will give them his spirit to rise from their graves
Psalm – “With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.”
2nd – St Paul states that we will rise from the dead because the Spirit is in us
Gospel – Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead
Life and death. Throughout the readings this week these powerful realities weave together, reminding us that how we live and face our death has eternal consequences.
Throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus he consistently taught that our lives provide precious opportunities to serve and care for one another. Forgiveness, mercy, compassion, service, healing and outreach to the poor are themes that surface repeatedly throughout the Gospels. WHAT we do and HOW we do it reveal the depth of our discipleship and our willingness to follow the Lord through this life.
Yet we also know that death is an experience that comes to us all. We have stood at the graves of our loved ones, grieved for those who have gone before us, and dealt with the ache in our hearts when someone we care about is no longer with us. Death reminds us that our opportunity to share our lives on earth has a limit, that we only have so much time on this rock before we are called into eternity.
And the fact that something awaits us after death is a conviction that shapes both how we live and die. God gives us immortal souls, created to be united in the great Heavenly chorus. Yet even this is a choice; out of love the Lord gives us the freedom to choose…will we follow the Lord or a different path?
The readings this weekend help us understand the crucial role that sight plays in our lives. Whether it’s physical or spiritual…what do you see? The invitation today: to see God at work in our lives as we look for Christ and live in His love.
The Lord drives out a demon in the Gospel today, reminding us that while evil is present in the world we continue to call upon God for the grace we need to drive out whatever is not fitting in our hearts for the Kingdom of God.