Thursday, March 26, 2015

5th Sunday in Lent - 3rd Scrutiny - It takes a 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 grip of death 
Come out of the world of sin and corruption
Come out of the tomb of despair and desolation 
Come out - into the Light of Christ – into Life eternal and - the loving embrace of God.  
Be alive - live in peace: live in joy!  
Be free from the binding cloths of sin and sorrow.  
Come out – to live in the perfection of God’s love.

In sin, we too were dead, like Lazarus, - but, like Lazarus, though dead in sin were able to hear the Word of God, - the voice of Jesus - calling us to us – “Come Out” and respond.  

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

Then we heard the voice of Jesus calling us to, “Come out.”  We too struggled, like Lazarus, within our death shroud; emerging from the tomb still wrapped in the trappings of our sinfulness.  We hopped and staggered – swayed and lurched; struggling within that cloth that bound us: struggling to be free, but held in place, struggling against the whispered temptations of the evil-one, who still seeks to hold us within his deadly grasp.

As we emerged from our tomb of sin, Jesus greeted and welcomed us.  He called to the others nearby to unbind us from the cloths wrapped around us: our outer deathly attire of sin to reveal the inner body come alive through His Word.  Our brothers and sisters, at Christ’s bidding, worked together to free us from our bonds to walk among them in His Light. 

Through God’s love and merciful sacrament of reconciliation, we move back into the Light and Life of Christ.  We are Prodigal children, beloved of God, 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 His Light of new Life.
We, like Lazarus, came back to life through the call of Christ and the helping hands of the community of believers.  

Jesus continues to use the community to help bring about the Kingdom of God.  He calls each of us to ‘unbind them and let them go free’ – as we witness to the graces of our own baptism and discipleship, so we may help free others, who respond to His call, to “Come out!” from the deadly grip of sin to live in new Life in the Light of Christ.  

As disciples, we are the called and blessed - people of God, who do the will of the Father 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 sharing the love we receive from God through Jesus with all others.

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 too may walk free in the Light of Life with Jesus and be welcomed into the Kingdom of God, our Father. ~Amen.

Deacon Don

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