My thoughts also go to groups of faithful from Potenza, Atella, Sulmona, Lomagna, Conegliano, Locara, Napoli, Afragola, Ercolano and Torre del Greco; to youth preparing for confirmation from Gardone Valtrompia, Ostia, Reggio Emilia, Fane, Serramazzoni and Parma; to students from Massa Carrara and Genova-Pegli.
Lastly, I greet the Brembo Choir, the Laurentino Sportsclub of Rome, motorcyclists from Terni-Narni; representatives of WWF-Italy, encouraging them in their commitment to the environment.
And do not forget today: at home, take the Gospel of John, chapter nine and read this account of the blind man who gains his sight and of the alleged seers who sank deeper and deeper into their blindness.
I wish everyone a blessed Sunday and a good lunch. Arrivederci!
Acknowledgment: We thank the Vatican Publisher for allowing us to publish the Homily of Pope Francis I, so that it could be accessed by more people all over the world; as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us.
Fifth Sunday of Lent, Gospel Reading: Extracted from the holy Gospel according to John 11:1-45
There was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of Bethany with the two sisters, Mary and Martha, and he was ill.
It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair.
The sisters sent this message to Jesus, ‘Lord, the man you love is ill.’
On receiving the message, Jesus said, ‘This sickness will end not in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.’
Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he heard that Lazarus was ill he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judaea.’ The disciples said, ‘Rabbi, it is not long since the Jews wanted to stone you; are you going back again?’ Jesus replied:
‘Are there not twelve hours in the day?
A man can walk in the daytime without stumbling
because he has the light of this world to see by;
but if he walks at night he stumbles,
because there is no light to guide him.’
He said that and then added, ‘Our friend Lazarus is resting, I am going to wake him.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he is able to rest he is sure to get better.’ The phrase Jesus used referred to the death of Lazarus, but they thought that by ‘rest’ he meant ‘sleep’, so Jesus put it plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad I was not there because now you will believe. But let us go to him.’ Then Thomas – known as the Twin – said to the other disciples, ‘Let us go too, and die with him.’
On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already. Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, ‘If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that, even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.’ ‘Your brother’ said Jesus to her ‘will rise again.’ Martha said, ‘I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.’ Jesus said:
‘I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ she said ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.’
When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in a low voice, ‘The Master is here and wants to see you.’ Hearing this, Mary got up quickly and went to him. Jesus had not yet come into the village; he was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were in the house sympathising with Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
Continue next page ...
20 April 2014
Fifth Sunday of Lent, First Reading: Extracted from the prophet Ezekiel 37:12-14
The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel.
And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people.
And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.
See the Re-Construction Process by Yahweh God > Ezekiel 37: 1-14 (Encouragements-90). There is Absolutely Nothing my Daddy God can’t do! 8-)
Fifth Sunday of Lent: Responsorial Psalm 130:1-8
With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.
If you, O Lord, should mark our guilt, Lord, who would survive?
But with you is found forgiveness: for this we revere you.
My soul is waiting for the Lord. I count on his word.
My soul is longing for the Lord more than watchman for daybreak.
(Let the watchman count on daybreak and Israel on the Lord.)
Because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption,
Israel indeed he will redeem from all its iniquity.
Who are these “Israel of God”?
This is what Saint Paul says (Galatians 6:14-16, Encouragements-44):
14 As for me, the only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
15 It does not matter if a person is circumcised or not; what matters is for him to become an altogether new creature.
16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, who form the Israel of God.
Fifth Sunday of Lent, Second Reading: Extracted from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 8:8-11
People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God.
Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you.
In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him.
Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then your spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.
John 11:25, 26
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
whoever believes in me will never die.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!