God has the Power to Bring Back the Dead from the Grave to Life by Fr. Joel
In the first reading, the Lord said, “O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel…. I will put my spirit in you that you may live, and I will settle you upon your land”. In the second reading, Saint Paul said that those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Only those who are in the spirit can please God. If the spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead is in you, he will give life to your mortal body.
In the gospel, Jesus said, “If one walk during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he does stumbles, because the light is not in him.” After then, he proceeded to Judea and raised Lazarus from the dead. By so doing Jesus fulfilled the promise of God, to give life to the dead. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
At baptism we received the spirit of God that gives life to our bodies. Baptism makes us a new creation and children of God. By virtue of our baptism, we are to live the life of the spirit of God that was given to us during baptism. But unfortunately, we do not allow that spirit given to us during baptism to be active and grow in our lives. We are dead in the spirit and are in the graves like Lazarus. We need Jesus to raise us up from our graves. However, we cannot be brought back to life unless we believe that Jesus is the resurrection and life. We must believe that Jesus is the Lord and savior of the world.
Many people give all kinds of excuses for not believing, participating or coming to Church. Some say they stopped coming to Church because someone spoke or did something in a way they did not like. Some others stopped believing or coming to Church because the message from the pulpit was against their opinion. For some people, is because they do not like the music or the liturgy is not lively but boring for them. Some other people, it is because when they were sick or in difficulties, no one came to visit and help them. Other people will use the rain fall today as a reason not to come to church. Other reasons include wrong use of TV, social media, party, travels and so on. We give worldly things much of our time and little or no time to God, our creator. All of these have contributed in killing the spirit of God in us. We have become like dead bodies in the graves.
You got angry because of these reasons and you stopped participating in church activities. But you are receiving worse treatments at your work place but you did not stop going to work because you are afraid of losing your job and pay. When you are sick or having some issues that will prevent you from going to work, you will call in and report. You did not wait for your boss to call you and find out what happened to you. No one comes to visit you or gives extra money to solve that problem, yet you did not quit the job. If things are not done your way in church, you will revolt and stop participating. At school, you were offended by both teachers and students but you never stopped going to school. Some of us were bullied in school but we stayed until we graduated. You could not afford to miss your classes, but we can miss mass or church activities. We will never be late for work or appointment with immigration or IRS, but we can be late coming to church. Our appointments with God we can ignore.
Who are we deceiving? Who is going to judge us? When shall we grow up and be matured in our faith? Why can’t we be sincere with ourselves? When we behave that way, it means we are dead in spirit and we need to allow Jesus to raise us up from our graves. Please note that the church is not a social club or political party where things must be done to please you alone. There is a limit in which we can make changes in the church, because it is the church of Christ and he gave rules for his church. What have you done for the church? For example, if you think the choir is not singing well, why not join them to help improve it. Stop sitting down like a spectator and running commentaries without doing something to improve our parish communities. Come to church and contribute your quarter to make it be a better place and stop complaining. Please let us appreciate and support those making great sacrifices in order to keep our parish going.
Wake up from your grave and be an active member of this parish. Put your talents and resources into the service of God and God will bless you the more. The Lord has promised to settle us in the promised-land, but we must be in the spirit before we can reach there. If you are inactive or dead, you cannot reach your destiny. You must cooperate with the grace of God in order to get to your final destination/heaven. Please wake up from you graves and receive the spirit of God that will transform you into an active member of his kingdom.
FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT 2017
GOD HAS THE POWER TO BRING BACK THE DEAD FROM THE GRAVE TO LIFE