March 9, 2008
Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

First Reading: Ez. 37:12-14
Psalm 130
Second Reading: Rom. 8:8-11
Gospel: Jn. 11:1-45

Allowing Jesus to Tap Into Our Lives for a Real Life Happiness

Before listening to the chest of the little ones in a paediatric ward, a nurse would normally plug the stethoscope into their ears and let them listen to their own heartbeat. Their eyes would always light up with awe, but she never got a response equal to four-year-old David’s comment. Gently, she tucked the stethoscope into little David’s ears and placed the disc over his heart. “Listen!” she said. “What do you suppose that is?” Little David drew his eyebrows together in a puzzled line and looked up as if lost in the mystery of the strange tap – tap – tap – tapping in his chest. Then his face broke out in a wondrous look and he asked the nurse, “Nurse, is that Jesus knocking?”

Martha and Mary sought Jesus, initially to heal their brother Lazarus; but first, they had to allow Jesus to enter into their lives. They had to listen to Jesus’ voice TAPPING into their hearts. As such, they learnt that "though through the sin of one man death came into the world; through Jesus we have regained a life of happiness."

As Jesus wept at the death of his friend Lazarus and raised him up, he indicated that he hears our pain and anguish, and he cries with those of us who mourn any kind of loss in our life. By raising Lazarus from death to life, Jesus indicates that he is in solidarity with the dead and the living; he shares our pain and sorrow and is ready to turn our anguish into joy and happiness.

Jesus raised Lazarus from death to demonstrate to us God’s ability to conquer death. In this belief, Thomas urged the disciples to go with Jesus so that they could die with him. What a contrast of a Thomas, who was once the “doubter.” Recall that Thomas is the disciple who said, “Unless I put my finger into the holes the nails made in his palms and feet, I refuse to believe.”

Physical or natural death ends our life here on earth. However, our life continues to live in the spirit, especially for those who live in Jesus Christ. For this reason, Jesus said to Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life; those who believe in me, even if they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die." [Sing it].

With this promise, Jesus calls us to come out of our “tombs” to join him, who is peace, love and harmony of the Trinity. The catch nine in Jesus’ promise is that we make good, moral choices that lead to a mature life in him; that we abandon all empty promises we make to God, to others and to ourselves; that we renounce evil; that we come out of “material tombs” we build for ourselves each day [“tombs” of anger and hatred, racism, discrimination, put-downs, revenge, slandering, impulsive abusive nature, spousal abuse, women battering, superiority complex etc…]; that we “pass from death to life” [cf. Jn. 5:24] and so dwell in the Light of Christ Jesus, our Saviour! Very soon it will be Easter and we shall be singing: “The Light of Christ has come into the world…”].

Jesus is here; let us allow to TAP into our hearts and into our life activities and we shall surely find true happiness and PEACE in our hearts?

Father John-Baptist Okai
Priest Moderator
St. Cecilia Parish, Regina SK Canada

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