Gospel Reflections: Fifth Sunday of Lent

First reading: Ezk. 37: 12-14
“I am going to open your tombs; I shall bring you out of your tombs, my people; and lead you back to the land of Israel. You will know that I am Yahweh, O my people! When I open your graves and bring you out of your graves; when I put my spirit in you, and you live. I shall settle you in your land; and you will know that, Yahweh, have done what I said I would do.”
Second reading: Rom 8: 8-11
“… And, if the spirit of him, who raised Jesus from the dead, is within you, he, who raised Jesus Christ from among the dead, will also give life to your mortal bodies. Yes, he will do it, through his Spirit, who dwells within you.”
Gospel: John 11: 1-45
“…Jesus said, “This illness will not end in death; rather it is for God’s glory, and the Son of God will be glorified in it.
… Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now, I know that God will give you whatever you ask of Him.
… I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die will live.
… Father I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.”
Psalm 130
            With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

            This Sunday’s Readings and Psalm center on the Resurrection and the Lord’s promise of salvation.
Our god, indeed, is a relational God. And he is very much eager to continue that relationship with us, human. In the first reading, God the Father promised redemption of his people. He used the words ‘my people’ signifying an intimate relationship. And He is always willing to save that relationship, to have that intimacy with us human. Throughout the history, the Lord is always pursuing us to offer His salvation, to reconcile when we sinned, to accept our pleas, to grant us forgiveness.
Our God fulfills his promise. The book of Exodus detailed how God the Father fulfilled His promise of liberation of His people from slavery. Now, he is still always there for us, ever ready to free us from our modern slavery: Such as slavery to our sins, slavery to our pride and ego, slavery to material things, and many more. Those things cause our death, not the physical death, but the spiritual death, the death of our purpose, the death of the meaning of our existence. Many of us are living but already lost the life. And we can get that life back after reconciling with the Lord again.
He is just waiting, we just need to believe.
Many times in my life I also waiver in my belief and faith. But the good Lord never stops believing in me, until He brought back my faith again. He never stopped providing for me and my family, even when I was no longer praying. He never stopped to give me consolation even when I forgot him in my difficult times and sufferings. He never stopped to protect me from all dangers, even when I am so confident that I can manage everything in my life.
Now, I pray that everything I would do would be for God’s glory. Everything that we do for Regina RICA should be for His glory. For me, Regina RICA is one big and tangible miracle of our time. Miracles happen so that the Son of God may be glorified in it.
Jesus performed the miracle of giving life to Lazaru ‘so that we may believe.’ The other day I learned that ate Judith, our laundry woman, was sharing about her dream where she saw the nailed feet of Jesus. It happened when she was fighting for her life. I believe that was a beautiful near death experience of God. And she was, indeed, given a second chance to live: to give glory to the Lord, to experience the beautiful gift of transformation and conversion, to share the goodness of our God to other people.

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