by Rev. Fr. Reynaldo A. Domagas
A brilliant transplant surgeon Dr. Pauline W. Chen wrote a book entitled “FINAL EXAM – A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality” and said, “Preparing for death may be the most difficult exam of all, but it is the one that will, finally free us to live.”
In the gospel Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead as a sign
of his power over death. It points to us the power of the Spirit bringing life not death. Ezekiel’s vision points to death not only as physical but also a spiritual one. And the Spirit of the Lord can overthrow the power of death. Paul contrasts two ways of living: life in the flesh and life in the spirit. He insists that life in the flesh cannot please God, while life in the spirit is a form of union with God. He reminds us that the Spirit dwelling within us is the source and strength for living faithful lives. And with the Spirit we can live righteously and participate in divine life. Lent enabled us to confront our own death…and now that we have died to our old self and we have put an end to our sinful and evil ways we will live also experience new life. Like Lazarus we come out of our graves!
For all the death we see in our world, from wars and earthquakes, sickness and human violence and cruelty, there is a power stronger than death – the Spirit of God that saves us and renews our life. Jesus loves each of us deeply as he loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, and he gives each of us new life too.
Rev. Fr. Reynaldo A. Domagas
(This reflections on the reading for the Fifth Sunday of Lent,
was published in the Parish Bulletin, Our Lady of Victory Church, New York, April 10, 2011.)