Peace and grace to you!
The readings this weekend are filled with power! The power of hope! Faith in God as the one who speaks the truth and the one who always fulfills what he promises assures our hope and trust that he will accomplish what he says. This weekend we get a special glimpse of God’s plan—ultimately, our salvation. Although we don’t know the details of our lives ahead of time, we do know that we must walk by faith and make sense of the events in our lives by using the lens cap of faith as we go.
The prophet Ezekiel makes a bold declaration that God will open our graves and we will rise from them, plus we will live with a share of God’s divine Spirit within us! Paul’s vision of the Christian experience makes sense of sin coexisting with the Spirit of Christ in the human person. He assures us that those who live with the Spirit of Jesus, even though they fall into sin, can rightfully hope in a resurrection of the body as a gift of God’s grace. The power of the Holy Spirit cleanses us from sin through the Word of Christ. This is manifested in the Gospel story when Jesus calls Lazarus forth from death to life.
Lazarus is a great image for all of us to ponder. We know that at this event he is wrapped up, tied up, in the bands of sin, death and burial. Obviously, he has succumbed to the power of nature and suffered death, which is the ultimate suffering for the human person. He has also committed sins. But the Word of Jesus cleanses him and compels him to rise to new life. In the light of today’s readings, we also should pause to consider a couple of questions for ourselves. What are the natural powers, sins, people or events that have bound you up in life? How have you been hindered in life or closed into a place of darkness, loneliness, isolation, anger, fear or hopelessness? We are all burdened in different ways to varying degrees. More importantly and much greater than any of these burdens however, is the power to be set free of them by Jesus and his Word. I pray that each of you experience some special freedom, liberation from sin, hindrance or death and walk in joy as children of light. May God bless you! +++ Fr Peter