As we continue our Lenten pilgrimage towards the Cross, towards the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, today we are given a glimpse of what they lead to, Easter and the Resurrection of Our Lord. It reminds us that what we are celebrating is God’s love of us. Our Faith, what we believe, is in a Saviour who dies for us, and who rises again, to show us that death is not the end, that we can have hope that this life is not all that there is, that we are called to something greater, something more lasting, eternity in God’s loving presence.
The Old Testament reading this morning from the prophet Ezekiel points to a future, it finds its fulfilment in Christ, the fulfilment of all prophesy, to which all prophesy points, and finds its fullest meaning. It reminds us of the truth of scripture, found in him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. As those who are in Christ we can trust in a promise clearly signposted in Scripture, which finds its meaning in Him. As those who are baptised into His Death and Resurrection, we are filled with His Spirit to have new life in Him.
At the heart of this morning’s Gospel is the encounter between Jesus and Martha, which ends as follows: ‘‘I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.’’ Through our belief in Christ we may have eternal life in Him. We need to believe and trust in Him. He raises Lazarus to point to His own resurrection, to explain what will happen, to give people hope, to strengthen their faith and to help them to live out His love in their lives. As we prepare to enter the mystery of Our Lord’s Passion and Death, we can do so filled with hope, with our faith renewed and strengthened, and with a firm resolve to live out the costly self-giving love of Our Lord in our lives.
But we can only hope to do this if we do it together: supporting each other through prayer, nourished by the sacraments, by meeting together regularly to be fed with Word and Sacrament, so that we can be strengthened, built up in love, together, in the power of the Spirit, to live out the love of God in the World, so that it may believe and give glory to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, to whom be ascribed as is most right and just, all might, majesty, glory, dominion, and power, now and forever.