Monday, April 7, 2014

5th Sunday in Lent - John 11-42 - "Community of Believers"

In death, Lazarus hears the voice of Jesus and responds; –returning to life.  We too have heard the voice of Jesus calling us to: “Come Out!” 
Come out of the darkness  
Come out of death’s grip
Come out of the world of sin and corruption
Come out of the tomb -
Into the Light – into Life eternal and - the heavenly embrace of God. 
Be alive - live in peace and joy! 
Be free from the binding cloths of sin and sorrow. 
Come out - live in the perfection of God’s love.

We too, in sin, were dead, like Lazarus, - but in the death of sin, we too, like Lazarus - were still able to hear the words of Life, - the voice of Jesus calling to us – Come Out!  Come out of the darkness!  Come into my Light! 

How sweet the sound that stirred our hearts.  We moved toward His voice – a sound, so pure and inviting – even in death we could not resist!  We responded to His voice - emerging from the dark and lonely place, where the evil-one lured us by his invitation to taste the temptations of worldly pleasures.  The corrupter, who enticed us away from the grace of our baptism – down into the dark tomb of sin - where we dwelled despairing of hope and freedom.

Then we heard the voice of Jesus calling us to come out.  We struggled, like Lazarus, within our shroud of death to emerging from the tomb still wrapped in the trappings of death.  We hopped and hobbled: struggling with the cloths that still held us: yearning to be free, but kept in place, trapped by the whispers of the evil-one, who still seeks to hold us within his grasp.

Jesus greeted us and called others to unbind us from the cloths wrapped around us: the garments of death given to us when placed in the tomb.  It was through our called brothers and sisters in Christ, heeding Jesus’ Word, that we were freed from our bonds to walk in His Light.

Through God’s love and mercy, in His sacrament of reconciliation, we moved back into the Light and Life of Christ.  Like the Prodigal children, beloved of God, we were received into the Father’s loving embrace.  He calls for celebrations in heaven at our return- for:
We who were lost are now found –
We who were dead are now alive! 
We, who lived in darkness and have re-emerged into the Light of Life.
We, like Lazarus, found our way back to life through the call of Jesus Christ and aided by the helping hands of the community of believers. 

Jesus continues to use the community of those who believe in Him to help bring about the Kingdom of God.  He calls each of us, as believers of the Truth, to be witness to the grace of our baptism and the graces freely given us in our lives, so we may help free others who respond to His call from the death of sin to Life. 

He ask us to ‘unbind them and let them go free’ - from the trappings of worldliness that hold them in darkness.  We who are God’s holy people, - in response to the Word of Jesus, - help others emerge from the shroud of sin that surrounds them to go into His Light and new Life.

We, the community of believers – who have heard the voice of Jesus and witness His saving grace in our lives, are called to be witness to others of Jesus’ saving action that has brought us to live as one in Him.  We are the called and blessed - people of God, who work through:
Our prayers,
Our lives of Christian fidelity
Our active participation in the life of the Church
Our faithful witness of the Gospel to the world
 And our devotion to bringing all people to Christ.

So, let us rejoice in this Gospel message: witnessing Christ calling - “Come Out!” to all our brothers and sisters who are dead through sin.  Let us be His hands; helping others to unwind the cloths that bind them, so they may be free to walk in the Light of Life with Christ and be welcomed into the Kingdom of God. ~Amen

Deacon Don Ron

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