Homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent March 29, 2020
By Rev. Fr. Bob Johnnene OFM, pastor Mission Saints Sergius & Bacchus
Order Franciscans of Mercy Reformed Catholic Church
Based on the readings from Ezekiel 37, Psalm 130, Romans 8, John 11,
“With the Lord There is mercy and fullness of redemption” these word from Psalm 130 are reminders to us of
God’s infinite mercy and love. It is appropriate that this is the Psalm for the 5th Sunday of Lent when the
Gospel is a message of how Chriat had compassion and mercy for his friends, Martha and Mary when he
heard that their brother Lazerous had died. He went to the grave and found the sisyters and friends fulled with
sorrow and tears.
It is also appropriate with the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Romans where he tells of how we have
been rescued from the death of sin through Christ’s passion, death and resurrection.
In Psalm 130 we read ´Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD.
Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications!
If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you, so that you may be revered.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word, I hope; my soul waits for the LORD more than those who
watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the
LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem. It is he who will redeem Israel from all
These readings remind us that With God no one is ever lost unless they choose to be. God is always waiting
for the sinner to repent and He will forgive us and welcome us back into the flock.
The Gospel of the lost sheep reminds us of that, the shepherd left all the flock to seek the lost sheep. The
Gospel today also reminds us of the same thing, Christ had such compassion for Martha and Mary that he
called Lazarus from the tomb, even though he had been dead for 4 days.
Pope Francis in his homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent cycle A told the faithful that “The Gospel of this Fifth
Sunday of Lent tells us of the resurrection of Lazarus. It is the culmination of the miraculous “signs” worked
by Jesus: this act is too great, too clearly divine to be tolerated by the high priests, who, learning of the fact,
decided to kill Jesus ( Jn 11:53).
He continued by telling them “Jesus speaks like this: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in
me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (Jn 11:25, 26). With
this word of the Lord we believe that the life of whoever believes in Jesus and follows his Commandment
after death will be transformed into new life, full and immortal. As Jesus is resurrected with his own body,
though he does not return to an earthly life, so too will we be raised with our bodies which will have been
transfigured into glorified bodies. He expects us with the Father, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, who
raised him, he will also raise those who are united to him”
During the season of Lent, we have been called to reflect on how we are living our lives in relation to Christ’s
teaching and the will of God,
In his homily, Pope Francis went on to sum up what the readings for the 5th Sunday of Lent are about with
these words; “God invites us, almost orders us, to come out of the tomb in which our sins have buried us. He
calls us insistently to come out of the darkness of that prison in which we are enclosed, content with a false,
selfish and mediocre life. “Come out!” he says to us, “Come out!” It is an invitation to true freedom, to allow
ourselves to be seized by these words of Jesus who repeats them to each one of us today. It is an invitation
to let ourselves be freed from the “bandages,” from the bandages of pride. For pride makes of us slaves,
slaves to ourselves, slaves to so many idols, so many things. Our resurrection begins here: when we decide
to obey Jesus’ command by coming out into the light, into life; when the mask falls from our face—we are
frequently masked by sin, the mask must fall off!—and we find again the courage of our original face, created
in the image and likeness of God.”
The words of the first reading; “I will open your graves and have you risew from them and bring you back…I
will put my spirit in you that you may live” God, through the prophet is telling us about the everlasting life with
God in heaven we will have if we follow God’s teachings as givedn to us through the pro[phets and affirmed
by Jesus the Christ.
Paul’s letter tells us that those who look at life soley from the viewpoint of secular society, get nowhere and
leave themselves open to be venerable to the temptations of Satan which causes them to sin and therefore
their soul is dead beaxuse of sin.
As Christians and Catholics, we have been given the gift of reconciliation to wash away the sins that have
brough us to the grave of sinfulness and bring us back to a life in Christ.
We need to remember that with God there is always infinite mercy, compassion and love and he want to raise
us from the tomb of sinfulness and bring us into the light of Christ.
The Gospel acclamation “Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ” and the verse from it “I am the
resurrection and the life, sas the Lord; whoever believes in me will never die”
We will never die to the fires of hades but will live the everlasting life with all the heavenly elect by living the
Gospel messages. When we fail by doing something that is opposite Christ’s teachings and find ourselves in
the darkness of sin we can use the sacrament of reconciliation to return into the light of Christ and be raised
from sin’s death.
Pope Francis closed his homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent with these words; “Jesus’ act of raising Lazarus
shows the extent to which the power of God’s grace can go, and, thus, the extent of our conversion, our
transformation. Listen carefully: there is no limit to the divine mercy offered to everyone! There is no limit to
divine mercy which is offered to everyone! Remember this sentence. And we can all say it together: “there is
no limit to divine mercy which is offered to all people!” Let us say it together: “There is no limit to divine
mercy which is offered to everyone!” The Lord is always ready to remove the tombstone of our sins, which
keeping us apart from him, the light of the living.”
During the last two weeks of Lent, we should take invitory of our living the Gospel, and ask the Holy Spirit to
help us in that invitory and if necessary partake of the Sacrament of Reconciliation so we rise from the tomb
of sinfulness into the brilliant light of Christ life. AMEN