April 2, 2017 Fifth Sunday of Lent
Ezekiel 37:12-14; Roman 8:8-11; John 11:1-45
The recent tragic death of an EMT Worker, Yadira Arroyo, in New York City and the response of the people invites us to enter into the death of Lazarus and the outpouring of love and respect of the friends and acquaintances of Martha and Mary, who gathered with them to console them, to be instruments of the healing power of God, to bring light into the darkness that engulfed them. Their presence, their words of comfort, their gentle touch strengthened and consoled all.
The memory of Lazarus, his goodness, generosity, loving presence was a source of strength and comfort. They were people who were walking in darkness, but now the light was beginning to dawn. The bonds of fear, sorrow, despair and loss were being loosened. The healing power of Jesus not only unbound Lazarus but also each of them.
Just as the people gathered in the tiny village of Bethany at their time of loss, thousands gathered on the streets of the Bronx to mourn the loss of a woman who daily and bravely did her job of rescuing and helping the sick and comforting the needy. They strengthened one another by sharing the stories of her life, her courage and her compassion in times of pain and suffering. Now, they were present to thank her. She represented the healing presence of God for so many.
The example of the people who journeyed to console Martha and Mary and the outpouring of love, compassion to the family and co-workers of Yadira Arroyo is a challenge for each of us to respond to the pain and suffering of our neighbor.
Lord Jesus, as I continue on my Lenten Journey, give me a courageous and expansive love to respond to the needs of others.
Sister Ursula McGovern, OP