LENT 2014: Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, April 6

LENT 2014: Reflection for the Fifth Sunday of Lent, April 6

PAX CHRISTI USA

by Jim Dinn

Ezekiel 37:12-14 | Romans 8:8-11 | John 11:1-45

The Raising of Lazarus — 15th century. Novgorod school. 72 x 60 cm. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia The Raising of Lazarus — 15th century. Novgorod school. 72 x 60 cm. The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

The account of the raising of Lazarus offers little interest for twentieth century non-believers. Such readers are curious about the death experience and hunger for details about what, if anything, lies beyond death. They are fascinated by stories of near-death experiences. They wonder about what Lazarus sees and remembers. They want to hear in his words how it all felt.

The author of the fourth gospel has a different agenda. The raising from the tomb is narrated in three brief sentences with few details and no revelations from another world. The text offers no gasp of amazement from the onlookers, no cry of recognition from the sisters, no embrace of the revived brother, no word of gratitude to Jesus. From…

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