While the Eucharist is one of the most significant places to encounter Christ, it is not the only one. We also receive nourishment from the Word of God. In this time of lockdown when we aren’t able to gather together for Eucharist, we have the opportunity to encounter Christ in the Word. We can transform the world through the collective energy of our love.
SUNDAY READINGS FOR 29 MARCH 2020 Fifth Sunday of Lent
1 Ezekiel 37:12-14
Lazarus was dead. Yet through an encounter with Jesus comes an experience of hope when all seems impossible.
Now that Aotearoa New Zealand is in Level 4 Lockdown, we might gradually begin to see things we want to lock up – conflicts, pollution, greedy consumerism, the hectic pace of life…
During this time, we can dream of new ways of being and doing.
Listen as Martha speaks her heartfelt sorrow at the death of her brother, Lazarus; but it’s tinged with regret or blame: "Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died."
What losses related to the COVID 19 Lockdown are you aware of now?
Even when Jesus tells Martha, "I am the one who raises the dead to life!" she finds it hard to believe he means now, with her dead brother.
Perhaps you doubt that out of this time of restrictions and loss new realities can emerge.
Jesus stands before the tomb weeping, vulnerable. He places no barriers to his feelings about this loss. What’s it like for you to be with him there?
Imagine that you are standing in front of the “tomb” of your life as it is now with all its restrictions, isolation, fears, dreams and hopes.
Tell Jesus your feelings, your vulnerability, your desires.
Gradually, you hear Jesus call your name. This is Jesus who stirs up hope within you, hope during this impossible time. You hear him speak the words to you: “Be freed!”
Allow Jesus to gift you in some way – a gaze, a touch, a symbol, a word, a blessing.
As you receive this gift, let hope and love fill you. Open yourself to this new time in your life.
Breathe in the gifts you’ve received.
Notice your breathing. Become aware of where you are and give thanks for the gift of this time of prayer.
Jesus Mafa art- Raising of Lazarus