Two-Minute Homily by Fr Dan Redhead for the Fifth Sunday of Lent 2023.
“We know Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour, and that He is the key to eternal life.”
- Two-Minute Homily Transcript
Two-Minute Homily TranscriptAuthor: Archdiocese of Brisbane
My friends, Martha and Mary were devastated over the death of their brother Lazarus. Their faith in Jesus was unbreakable. They had supreme confidence that He would respond to their emergency call to come and attend to their ill brother. So they would have been clearly concerned when Jesus didn’t respond to their plea to help their brother with immediacy. It would have been a fair expectation since they, being Jesus, Lazarus, Mary and Martha, were all dear friends.
But Jesus’ premeditated delay was clearly telegraphed to His disciples when He said, after hearing that Lazarus was ill, ‘This sickness will end not in death, but in God’s glory, and through it, the Son of God will be glorified.’ Jesus knew at that moment that He would use the death of His dear friend Lazarus, to glorify God.
His departure for Bethany was deliberately delayed until He was sure that His friend had succumbed to his illness and died. In fact, by the time Jesus and his entourage of disciples had arrived at Bethany, Lazarus had been entombed for four days; but of course, that wasn’t a deterrent to Jesus at all. Rather, it only would add additional significance to the miracle He was about to work.
Mary and Martha affirmed their faith in Jesus, saying that if He had only been there earlier, He could have brought their brother back to full health; that he would not have died. But mortal death is inevitable for all of us. When Jesus has His conversation with Martha, and He reassures her that Lazarus ‘will rise again’, and that He, Jesus, is ‘the resurrection and the life’, He is saying that those who believe in Him, those who have faith in Him, that the spirit part of themselves, namely their souls, will live eternally.
It is after this conversation that Jesus rewards their faith in Him by resurrecting Lazarus to mortal life. And so He says, ‘Where have you put him?’ And they lead Him to Lazarus’ tomb, and it is there that He calls Lazarus to ‘Come out!’ And he does. The faith of Martha and Mary in Jesus was never diminished even in spite of their brother’s death. That is the same attitude and faith that we need to instil in ourselves. We know Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour, and that He is the key to eternal life.
So then, as we draw ever closer to the Calvary event, may we fix our hearts and minds on Him as he faces the indignities and trials of Good Friday and his triumphant Resurrection on Easter Sunday. God bless!