We face death every day. Whether it comes with the actual death of someone we love (or someone we don’t even know), a failed relationship, the loss of a job, a broken dream, or pondering our own mortality, death is always around us. What does death say to us? What we believe about our death experiences is going to say volumes about how we live our lives. Jesus comes to us today just as he did many years ago to people who were struggling with loss and death and wondering what to do. He calls us out of our tombs, where we have been closed up in fear and despair, and shouts, “Come out!” Jesus leads us out of death and gives us hope. There is always hope. There is always transformation. Although we may not always see where the road of life is taking us or see God’s presence with us on our journey, we will be brought to a new place and be given new life. Walk with God and listen to Him call you. Tomorrow, there awaits another surprise. ©LPi
The stories of the events leading to Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection are so familiar it can be hard to hear them afresh. Read through today’s gospel. What catches your eye? What surprises you that you haven’t thought about in several—many—years?
We give the definition of ourselves over to so many things. We allow our society, friends, family, work, social groups, ethnicity, and even institutions define, classify, and color how we perceive ourselves. When we listen predominantly to the voices of others, we lose touch with what is happening within our own inner voice. If we listen carefully within, we can easily discover that we are in want and need. We know our incompleteness and also know that loneliness, sadness, and self-images can propel us outward in attempts to fill those gaps. We can become not only victims of our own prejudices but can find ourselves overly self-indulgent in things that can only satisfy for a short time, if at all.
It is no wonder that money and power are things that are so fervently sought after. As long as we can keep a steady supply going, the illusion of fulfillment and satisfaction can falsely persuade us as craftily as a master magician’s act. We live with illusions not truth. It is no wonder, then, that some of the wealthiest folks are also really the unhappiest. Whether we admit it, the lies we live and pursue will ultimately expose our superficiality. We all have to wrestle with who we are and what gives our lives purpose and meaning. Learn to listen more deeply, not to what others are saying about you, but to what God is echoing in your heart.
We can easily get confused and misunderstand, not only about who we are but who God is. Even the disciples and the Samaritan woman at the well missed the point Jesus was trying to make. There is only one Person who can satisfy the deepest yearnings and longings of our hearts — Jesus the Messiah. It is not the work of corporate America that will lead us to happiness or greatness but the work of the soul. We continue to resist acknowledging this and are happier in our world of misunderstanding and illusion. The life-giving water we truly need doesn’t come from the source of a well but from the Source of Life. Only God can reveal the truth of our sinfulness, the superficiality of our pursuits, and the illusions we hold so dear. Only Jesus can save us from ourselves and give us what we really need. If only our heads can catch up with where our hearts know they need to be, then will we find real contentment and life! ©LPi
Sunday: Ez 37:12-14/Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8 /Rom 8:8-11/Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45
Monday: Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62/Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 [4ab]/Jn 8:1-11
Tuesday: Nm 21:4-9/Ps 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21/Jn 8:21-30
Wednesday: Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95/Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56/Jn 8:31-42
Thursday: Gn 17:3-9/Ps 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 [8a]/Jn 8:51-59
Friday: Jer 20:10-13/Ps 18:2-3a, 3bc-4, 5-6, 7 [cf. 7]/Jn 10:31-42
Saturday: Ez 37:21-28/Jer 31:10, 11-12abcd, 13 [cf. 10d]/Jn 11:45-56
Next Sunday: Mt 21:1-11/Is 50:4-7/Ps 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24 [2a]/Phil 2:6-11/Mt 26:14—27:66 or 27:11-54
Instead of telling people he was the Savior,
Jesus showed them. By raising Lazarus from
the dead, Jesus sent a message loud and clear. Jesus was the Savior they had all been waiting for. He was filled with God’s love and power, and many people believed in him.
Thank you for showing me that you are my
Mission for the Week
Write the words, “God can do anything” on a piece of paper. Read it every morning.
During the dark days of Israel’s exile in Babylon, the prophet Ezekiel foresaw God’s resurrection and restoration of his people. As the season of Lent comes to a close, what parts of your life are still in need of God’s restorative power?
Paul assured the believers in Rome that “the Spirit of God dwells in you” and that this same Spirit will raise you from the dead. What gives you confidence in Paul’s words?
John tells us that after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, many “began to believe in him.” On what grounds do you believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior?
God already has the solution.