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5th Sunday of Lent (A)

Back to life

By Jemma Redman

This Sunday’s gospel is a demonstration of God’s almighty power in full view of His disciples, friends, and the family of Lazarus. Not only can Jesus heal, forgive us our sins and give us access to His grace and mercy, but He can raise the dead to life.

So too in our lives, in whatever area, we need His Resurrection power, whether it be a marriage, our health, bad habits, failing careers, financial lack, difficult relationships, whatever, that the light of Christ can pierce the darkness of sin and bring life, to where there is death.

He wept! He wept because they did not truly believe that He is The Resurrection and the Life, even though He kept repeating to them who He was. They believed that it was only for the last day, not grasping that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

We are reminded during this Lenten season that we can bring whatever area of darkness in our lives to Jesus, if we believe in who He says He is. That is the key to unlocking this power of God in our lives, this amazing free gift of salvation, because of the blood, because of the Cross on Calvary, that what He did for Lazarus, He can do for us today.

I remembered that there was a young man who came from a ‘good family’, as we will say at home, but he had difficulties, went down the wrong paths, ended up in jail, in addictions etc.

And one day I saw him, a handsome, polite young man, and in talking with him, I asked if I could pray with him. He laughed and said to me, “Nah! I too far gone; God would not want to hear me.”

Sadly, he insisted that he was not good enough to pray and left. Several weeks later, he passed away, not yet 40 years old! And it stayed with me, how many people would die in their sins, believing that they cannot come out of their darkness, like the other thief on the cross, believing that they are not good enough. Yet, that is the very purpose for which Jesus came, the very reason we enter this Season of Lent, to commemorate His death and the purpose for which He went through this painful ordeal, to give us life and give it more abundantly. That we will not die in our sins but live unto eternal life.

Just as Lazarus was in that tomb, and Jesus raised him to life, it foreshadowed Jesus Himself in the 14th Station of the cross, having been laid in a tomb, but who had the power to lay down His life and to raise it again.

He commands us to roll away the stone, no matter if our situation is stinking. He says to us today in the Gospel, “Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”

Whom the Son has set free is free indeed! Amen.


Jemma Redman is founder of Spirit Global, a spiritual support non-governmental organisation called ‘to walk with men and women’. She is the Artistic Director of The Drama Ministry for the Southern Vicariate, and for St Mary Magdalene RC Church, Houston, Texas.