5th Sun Lent A
Reflection is an essential element of our growth in Christ. As we reflect over what we have learnt and ponder it in our hearts, we come to recognise the presence of God in our lives.
This Sunday's Reflection
When Martha and Mary sent news to Jesus of Lazarus’ illness, they implicitly wanted Jesus to do a miracle. When he failed to arrive and Lazarus had been dead for three days, Martha’s belief in Jesus as ‘the Resurrection’ focussed on the last day when all would rise. In other words, her faith was one that looked for miracles in this life and saw the glory of God being revealed in the next life. It was a form of religion that saw God separate from human life, as one who erupted in extraordinary events and rewarded people after death.
The faith that the Gospel of John presents is quite different. It understands ‘miracles’ as signs of the glory of God already present in human life and sees resurrection occurring here in this world when people have faith in Jesus. God is not separate from human existence but very much involved in its drama. This is why Jesus states that his glory is revealed when he is lifted up, that is when he is being crucified. In the very disgrace of crucifixion God’s glory is revealed because Jesus has remained faithful in love. This is called the ‘realized eschatology’ of John.
When Jesus comes, he transforms the nature of religion. We are not called to be live good, moral lives so that God may reward us with miracles in this life and blessedness in the next. We are called to live and love like God so that people see the glory of God in this world. When we forgive freely, serve all lovingly, give without counting the cost, the glory of God is revealed in our lives. When we face the difficult, dark and even dead places of our lives with hope, we know that Christ is again rising in our world. This is our faith, this is the glory to which we are called.