By Deacon Malcolm Lunsford
Reflection for the week of March 29, 2020
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Today's Gospel recounts one of the most dramatic stories from the life of Jesus - the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
John goes to great lengths to make clear that Lazarus has been dead for some time, and he shows Jesus's power to conquer death.
We live in a world that has been caught up in death for a long time. We kill each other in acts of murder, abortion, euthanasia, execution, war, terrorist activities, drunk and reckless driving.
We kill ourselves through suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, overwork, stress, bad eating habits, and physical neglect.
And now, we are faced with the onslaught of Covid-19, the coronavirus, that is taking the lives of four percent of its victims in the outside world, and so far, one percent here in America.
We try to watch calmly as others get sick, and some die from this disease. Many of us have self-imposed quarantined ourselves to avoid the outside world. The Surgeon General of the U.S. has said this will be a bad week. Stay home, folks!
However, many of us cannot stay home. Our public servants, fire, police, etc., must be at their stations. Doctors, nurses and other care-givers must be there to help those afflicted. We must pray for all of them.
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the God who "will put my Spirit in you that you may live."
Our Lenten celebration must serve to remind us that the Paschal Mystery represents a victory over death.
There will most likely be no Easter Vigil or Mass for the public this year. It will be hard for us. But our Lord is there.
The answer? Prayer.