April 2, 2017
It is time to look back at how we are doing this Lent
Watch video clip below
In the first reading, Jerusalem had been destroyed and the people taken into exile to Babylon, in 587 BC.
They had forgotten all that God had done for them in the past, and now they had lost everything.
Ezekiel, a priest in the temple in Jerusalem, up to 597 BC., had warned the people that they needed to return to God, but they would not listen.
Eventually, they were all taken into Exile, along with the prophet Ezekiel.
Needless to say, the people, now in captivity in Babylon were really down, depressed and they had given up. There seemed to be no hope. They seemed dead and without hope.
This is the background to the first reading we hear.
The prophet told them that even though they seemed dead and hopeless...
...God would raise them up again.
In the second reading, Paul writes his letter from prison. He encourages the Roman Christians, who faced many struggles, not to give up, not to turn to the flesh, to the things of the world for happiness, but to stay with the truth that they had been given. He tells them this is the real hope for all, not what the world gives.
It is hard in difficult times, when all seems to be against us, when nothing seems to go right. Then there is a great temptation to turn to the things of the world, to find some relief, to find some escape. Then is the time to remember our call at baptism, and to again realize that God will never abandon us. We have been called.
Lent has been about us facing our difficulties and challenges in order to find eternal life.
Psalm 130, which we will respond to this Sunday, can give us hope and courage when we are down.
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption
The Gospel comes for all of us when we are in the dumps. In those experiences of death, of seeing our sins, of facing our disappointments, etc........
........Christ comes to give us new life.
Wow! What a merciful, compassionate, forgiving God. Truly, through death comes life.
We will again hear the story of Lazarus, who had died.
We all know the story...
We too, are called out of whatever tomb we may be in right now.
We, like Lazarus, are called out of our tombs and to not be afraid.
Every day we need to pray for the courage to hear that voice that calls us.
Will we listen?
Or will we stay within our tombs of resentment, our lack of compassion and forgiveness, our desire for revenge, our wanting things go our way,etc.
Will we hear Christ's voice calling to each of us today