COME OUT !
The Church keeps the previous Sunday of the Holy Week as Sunday of Reparation. Traditionally the Crucifix and the statues of Saints in the church are covered with purple cloth. The significance of this is that the faithful are encouraged to concentrate and meditate more deeply on the passion and death of Jesus and repent for their sins which caused his death
The Gospel narrative of Jesus’coming late to Lazarus tomb is quite enriching (Jn 11.1-44). Jesus tells Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life; who ever believes in me, even if he dies, will live” (25). When we believe we are sharing in the risen life of Jesus.
The Church is inviting us to listen to the words of Jesus. “Lazarus, come out!” (43). Let us put our own name and listen Jesus calling us to come out! Yes, we need to come out of our selfishness, pettiness, unbelief, lust, greed, jealousy, cruelty…. Before raising Lazarus, Jesus told his disciples to take away the stone (39). What are the stones?-hurdles which prevent me from experiencing the risen life of the Lord within me? Through prophet Isaiah, the Lord is telling: “It is your sins that separate you from your God” (Is.59.2). Lent is the time the Church is calling the faithful to acknowledge this truth. Let us not be ‘puffed up with pride’ telling that I don’t have any sin’…As Pope John Paul II has said “insensitivity to sin is the greatest curse of this century”. Since we do not acknowledge our sins, we are in bondage and are not free to live like the children of God.
When the dead Lazarus came out, he was bound and Jesus told the disciples: “Unbind him, let him go” (44). What are the sins, bondages and oppressions from which I need to be unbound? Let us thank the Lord for the beautiful Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation where the Lord through His ministerial priests, is unbinding us and letting us “go in peace”. “Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven them (Jn 20.23)
Are we ready to cooperate with the grace of God to roll away the stone that stands between us and Christ? Are we ready to ‘unbind’ one another by forgiving them from the depth of our heart?
Lent is a time for removing these obstacles , to cleanse our conscience from dead works (cfr. Heb 9.14), such as hatred, anger, selfishness, pride, self righteousness, drunkenness, all impurities in thought, word and deed……
Yes, let me hear my loving Lord calling my name and telling me “Come out!” for He came, suffered and died for me so that I can experience His abundant life (Jn 10.10b).
“You should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth “ (Eph 4.22-24)