5th Sun Lent A
Sunday 29th March 2020
Image supplied by Lois Munroi
The Gospel Paraphrased
There are many fine translations of the Gospels readily available. This paraphrase is not meant to replace them. Rather the intention here is to offer a more contemporary rendering so that you can imaginatively translate the Gospel into your own situation.
This Sunday's Gospel Paraphrased
A man named Lazarus from the village of Bethany was sick. His sisters were Mary and Martha. (This was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair.) They sent a message to Jesus saying: ‘Lord, the one you love is sick.’ When he got this message Jesus said, ‘This illness isn’t going to end in death, rather it will reveal God’s glory and, when that happens, the Son of God will be glorified through it.’ Jesus dearly loved Martha, her sister and Lazarus yet when he got their message he stayed where he was for two more days!
Then he said ‘Let’s go back to Judea!’
The disciples replied ‘Rabbi, they were wanting to murder you and now you want to go back?’
‘A day has its full number of hours. If you walk in the day, you won’t stumble because you have the light of the day but if you walk at night, you stumble. Lazarus, our friend, is asleep and I’m going to wake him.’
‘If he’s sleeping, then he’s getting better. Why disturb him?’
But Jesus was talking of Lazarus’ death as sleep, and the disciples did not understand him so he said plainly. ‘Lazarus is dead. I’m glad I wasn’t there because what is going to happen will make you believe. Come on, let’s go’
‘Come on,’ said Thomas, ‘let’s go and get killed with him.’
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been buried for four days. Bethany was close to Jerusalem, so many people had come to mourn with Martha and Mary over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was on his way, she went out to meet him, while Mary stayed in the house.
Martha cried, ‘Lord, if you had been here my brother wouldn’t have died but, even now, I know that God will give you whatever you ask!’
Jesus replied: ‘Your brother will live again.’
‘I know he will rise to life at the end of time.’ Martha said.
‘I am the Resurrection and the Life. Those who believe in me, even if they die, will live and everyone who lives with faith in me will not die. Do you believe this?’
‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one we were hoping for.’
Martha then went to get her sister, saying quietly to her: ‘The teacher is here and he wants you.’ When Mary heard this she went quickly to Jesus, who hadn’t yet come into the village. He was still where he had been with Martha. The mourners who had been with Mary thought she was going to the tomb to mourn so they followed her.
When Mary met Jesus she fell at his feet and said: ‘Lord, if you had been here my brother wouldn’t have died.’ Jesus, seeing her tears and those of the mourners, groaned in distress and was deeply upset.
‘Where have you put him?’ he asked.
‘Come and see.’
Some of the people said, ‘Look how deeply he loved him!’ But some others said, ‘He healed the blind man. If he had really loved him, he wouldn’t have let him die!’
Jesus, still very distressed, came to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone at the entrance. He told them, ‘Move the stone away!’
Martha cried, ‘What, Lord! He now stinks!’
‘Didn’t I just tell you that if you had faith you would see the glory of God.’
When the stone was lifted out of the way, Jesus looked to heaven and prayed, ‘Father, I thank you for hearing me! I know you always do but I am saying this aloud that the people standing here may believe that you were the one who sent me.’
Then he ordered in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus! Come out!’
And the dead man came out, still bound in his burial clothes, with his face covered.
‘Take off the burial clothes. Free him.’
Many who were visiting Mary saw what happened and now believed in Jesus.