5th Sunday of Lent: The paths of life and death

Study: Recall a time when you experienced death.  How has this experience shaped the way you live?

Pray: Is there a life and death situation near you right now?  Call upon the Lord for grace.

Serve:  Do you have someone in your life who is facing a life and death situation?  How can you help them?

Mass Readings – 5th Sunday of Lent

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?

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on March 27, 2017.


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