Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent. The raising of Lazarus from the dead is the last and the greatest of the signs worked by Jesus in St. John’s Gospel. We hear this Gospel today at Mass (John 11:1-45). This last sign brings to a climax and concludes the public ministry of Jesus. It is also a bridge to the second half of the story. What begins as a kindness to a family that Jesus loves soon becomes a notorious public event that renders the authorities in Jerusalem hostile to Jesus beyond endurance. This episode in the Gospel is something of a prequel to the following feasts of Holy Week. It is, indeed a little Easter just before the greater one. And this, of course, was arranged by Christ Himself, who raised His friend Lazarus from the dead as something of a last action before entering Jerusalem and beginning His own slow ascent to Golgotha through the days of Holy Week. One of the hymns on this day states that Jesus stole Lazarus from among the dead. Lazarus had been four days dead and corruption of the body had already set in. “My Lord, he stinks!” (John 11:39) one of his sisters explained when Christ requested to be shown to the tomb. What Christ has done for Lazarus He will do for all. We too are weak and in need and we ask Him to visit us as He visited Lazarus. That visit brought tears to the eyes of Christ. The shortest verse in all of Scripture states “Jesus wept” (John 11:37). The state of our corruption makes Him weep. It is such a contradiction to the will of God. We were not created for the tomb. We read in the book of Wisdom: “Do not court death by your wandering ways, nor reach for destruction by the work of your hands. For God did not make death he takes no pleasure in the destruction of the living” (Wisdom 1:12). Do you notice that in the story of Lazarus – even in his being raised from the dead – he rises in weakness? He remains bound by his grave clothes. “The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with strips of material, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go” (John 11:44). Someone must “unbind” him. We ourselves, having been plunged into the waters of Baptism and robed with the righteousness of Christ, too often exchange those glorious robes for grave clothes. Christ has made us alive, but we are not bound to remain like dead men and women. Death is no longer what it used to be, in fact all of creation is not what it used to be, down to its most fundamental levels. ‘Christ trampled down death by death” Lazarus was to die again, but the resurrection of Christ must not be seen as an isolated event. Its effects shook everything. From a poem by Malcolm Guite called “Easter 2020” “And where is Jesus, this strange Easter day?// Not lost in our locked churches, anymore // Than he was sealed in that dark sepulchre.//The locks are loosed; the stone is rolled away,//And he is up and risen, long before, //Alive, at large, and making his strong way //Into the world he gave his life to save,//No need to seek him in his empty grave…”
Thanks for the collection last week. It came to £1815. We appreciate your generosity and support of us.
Confessional Attendance: Next week we move into the most important week in the Church’s Year. We know it as Holy Week. Palms will be blessed at Masses next Sunday. It is important that you prepare for this blessed time by coming early for confessions. It is important not to rush the process of returning home to the Lord who is intensely in love with you.
Sunday & Monday no duty. Mass Monday (27th March) @ 7pm – Arthur.
Confessions: Tues to Fri 2pm – 5pm.
Sat 5pm – 6pm. Mass: Mon – Fri @ 7pm. Tues – Brian. Wed – Victor. Thurs – Charles.
Fri & Sat – Anthony.
Shop: Open Mon to Sat – 9.30 – 7pm. Sun 9.30pm – 4pm.
Guild Mass Cards: Our selection includes Deceased, Mass Bouquets, Get Well, Wedding, Birthday, Anniversaries, Christening, New Home Bouquets & Easter Mass Bouquets. Cost £2.
Friday Exposition continues each Friday from 10am – 2pm.
Gluten-Free Hosts: If you are Coeliac and you like to receive communion please come up to the altar and stand beside the Eucharistic Minsters where you can receive the gluten-free host.
Save Our Acute Services: Our plan to Save acute services at SWAH is making progress. Please sign the letter which is available at the porch doors and we will deliver it. If you need further copies, ask and we’ll give them to you. This is the most effective thing you can do to save our wonderful hospital.
Sr Gertrude Lynn, Convent of Mercy, Enniskillen
Imelda Leonard, Mullaghdun
Maisie Mc Goldrick, Lisnaskea
Patricia Creamer, Drumclay Rd, Enniskillen
Michael & Lilley Jones, Westville Terrace, Enniskillen
The Gray & Jones families, Enniskillen & Manchester
John Farry, Erne Drive, Enniskillen
The Gault Family, Market Street, Enniskillen
John Mc Kay, Ballyward, Castlewellan
Grainne Timoney, Belcoo
Hugh Green, Killee, Coa
Patrick Keown, Roscor, Belleek
James & Alice Brogan & Alice Cassidy, Irvinestown
Patrick & James Mc Connell, Knockmore, Derrygonnelly
Kevin Mc Conway, Carrickfergus formerly Enniskillen
Mary Kate Gormley, Roscor, Belleek
Jimmy Manus, & Ellie Mc Manus & Fr Patrick Mc Manus, Macken
Telephone: 028 6632 2272
Fax: 028 6632 5201