Saturday, 13th April 2019

5th Week of Lent

Saturday, 13th April 2019

Ez. 37:21-28; (R. Ps.) Jer. 31:10,11-12,13; Jn. 11:45-56 (Ps Wk I)

The key idea that flows like a golden thread in today’s readings and psalm is that “God is re-gathering His scattered people”. In the first reading, the prophet Ezekiel speaks about the reunion of North Israel and Judah. The prophet not only hopes for the restoration of the exiles who are in Babylon, but also for the re-gathering of the exiles who were carried away to Assyria. Ezekiel envisions that, in the sovereign purpose of God, the exiles from Israel will return to the land with the exiles of Judah. The restored people will be ruled by one prince whose identity is the same as the Davidic-shepherd-prince. God promises to make an everlasting covenant with His people and to dwell with them forever.

In the Gospel passage, the episode of the raising of Lazarus serves as a paradox: Jesus’ gift of life to Lazarus leads to his own death. And yet, as the Jewish leaders “gathered” to plan Jesus’ death, the Christian community, that is, God’s own people will be “gathered” into one as His children by Jesus’ death. In want- ing to get rid of Jesus, the chief priest and Jewish leaders unknowingly make it possible, through his death, for the “re-gathering” of God’s people. Through his death, Jesus gathers God’s people into one community called the Church. As the psalmist cries aloud, “He who scattered Israel gathers him and guard him as a shepherd guards his flock”. Likewise, Lent is a time when God “re-gathers” His people who have been scattered by sin. He calls us back to Him.

Lord, may I listen to Your voice.