Fifth Sunday of Lent
Ez. 37: 12-14 Romans 8: 8-11 John 11: 1-45
At the time of this writing, the world is trying to prevent dying from a virus that has impacted every aspect of how we live and move and have our being. Plagues, epidemics, and pandemics have occurred throughout history, but never of this magnitude. Whoever thought we would be discouraged from going to church?
For those who do go or worship by the media, or in private, the words from today’s scripture focus on death. How timely! Ezekiel: “I will open your graves, and have you rise from them.” Paul to the Romans: “If Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive because of righteousness. John: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Lazarus escaped death, but only temporarily. Jesus died but occasionally appeared until his final ascension into heaven. Death is a given, our ultimate conclusion to what we know as life, but these readings are not focusing on death. These words are light for our life, here and now.
After trauma is experienced upon the news of a terminal illness, there are immediate life-saving measures that are available to extend our time with loved ones. Although the side effects can be horrendous, most patients and their loved ones opt for an extension of life.
This gospel is now live and in color as we follow Jeopardy. Alex Trebek has revealed to all that he is undergoing treatment for cancer. It is difficult to imagine Jeopardy without him, but it is inspiring to hear him speak so eloquently and truthfully about what the treatment is doing to him and how he and his loved ones, and fans are coping with his final days. Alex is modeling for us how to live, and this may be his legacy.
We, in turn, must be examples of how to live as daily we make decisions on how to dodge virus bullets that are being fired at us. The spirit within our bodies cannot be detached by any medical technology, it can only be viewed by how we live our lives.
God bless you, Alex, and all who enrich our spirits as they demonstrate how to cross the bridge of public life to unknown life.
Sr. Dorothy Maxwell, OP