A Holy Week Mission virtual
Fr. Tim/ Fr. Chris
A Holy Week Mission virtual
Fr. Tim/ Fr. Chris
Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Sr. Bethany Madonna
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
DIOCESAN VIRTUAL OPPORTUNITIES
1) Participate in our Challenge of the Week: #seearosarypostarosary
a. Encourage your friends to pray by posting a picture on your
Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat of you praying and challenging your
friends to pray, as well!
2) St. Francis Xavier (Fr. Chris’ parish) has Adoration from 7-7:30pm
every evening at their Facebook Page
a. Bible Study 5pm on Monday
b. Catechism Study 5pm on Tuesday
c. Youth Night 5:30pm on Wednesday
3) Hanna Suddath is doing Live Worship Sessions on Thursdays at
7:30pm on her Facebook Page
4) Mario Flamenco is praying the Rosary daily at 5:00pm on his Instagram
5) Life Teen is hosting a series of Life Nights starting this Sunday, April
5th at 5pm on theological virtues
6) Wichita Adore Ministries (the musicians from DYC) host many live
events on their website and Facebook
a. Mass at 9am every day, Stations of the Cross Fridays at 3
and 7, and different Adoration hours
b. Adoration with praise and worship tomorrow, April 1 st at 8pm
on their website
7) Sacred Heart Life Teen has been putting up videos of
encouragement and messages called Signs of Unity
8) ProjectYM has Youth Nights on Sundays at 8pm that you can attend
9) Call/video chat someone who you think may need a friend right now
10) Look into what your parish is doing
11) Offer your sufferings/sacrifices to someone who may be dying alone
because of COVID-19
Share other ideas you have with us by sending them to email@example.com
Caroline Ebberwein, Youth Director for the Diocese of Savannah, has offered here her talk “To Jesus Through Mary” which was to be delivered at the Women Conference for the Diocese. 1hr
Great for a moment of Spiritual retreat!
The Raising of Lazarus
Rev. Timothy McKeown Diocese of Savannah
The last three weeks we have been privileged to hear beautiful Gospel accounts by St. John which highlight the human dependence on God. With the woman at the well we are reminded of our thirst for God. With the man born blind we are reminded that we walk in darkness without Jesus. With the story of Lazarus we see that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life!
The Scripture Scholar William Barclay recounts the story about two close friends who were soldiers in WWI. One was grievously wounded and lay in “no man’s land.” His friend crawled through the mud braving machine gun fire and barbed wire to reach the wounded man. When he arrived the wounded friend said simply, “I knew you would come” (Barclay). This story sets the scene for today’s reading. Jesus was close friends with Lazarus, Martha and Mary. When Lazarus falls ill the message is simply sent, “Master, the one you love is ill.” This was all that needed to be said. The sisters knew that Jesus would come and this would lead to one of the greatest miracles in history, the raising of Lazarus.
Jesus is clear about the purpose of the miracle. Before the healing Jesus says, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God… ” Immediately before, Jesus says, “I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” For St. John the physical healing is important, but much more important is the spiritual conversion that it brings about.
Bethany is a town very close to Jerusalem. Martha, Mary and Lazarus were among his closest friends. In fact during the week of His Passion Jesus would stay in Bethany and walk in to Jerusalem each day. Last year I was able to offer Mass in Bethany.
It is striking to note that Jesus was perturbed and deeply troubled at the death of Lazarus. Have you ever lost a close friend due to death or a broken relationship? It is deeply troubling. In fact St. John records that Jesus began to weep. Jesus hates death and sin.
Tragedies always cause our Lord to groan. Jesus is weeping right now. He weeps for Italy. He weeps for NYC. He weeps for Georgia. But he says, “This illness is not to end in death but is for the glory of God.”
Since St. John writes on both a literal level and spiritual level what does this weeping mean? Bishop Barron suggests it is God weeping over our sins. When we sin, especially if our sin is serious, it is breaking our friendship with God. If you want insight into the impact of your sin think back on this story and Jesus weeping.
Also on a spiritual level the fact that Lazarus was in the tomb for four days represents sure death. So this can represent a sin or situation in our life that seems beyond hope. Jesus is told not to open the tomb because there will be a stench.
Do I have situations in my life that seem beyond hope right now? Do I have serious sin. Have I broken friendship with God? Maybe an addiction, actions I am ashamed of, broken relationships, failures in my life, fear of death?
Our Holy Father spoke to us on Friday, he told us Storms can uncover our weaknesses. What have we built on? Greed, wars, injustice, poor, planet. What is it that will truly nourish, strengthen and sustain me?
Jesus rolled away the stone and called, “Lazarus, come out.” Jesus says the same words to us today. He stands near the darkness of our sins and says, “Come out!” Come out from your spiritual death. Come out from your selfishness. Come out from our unforgiveness. Come out from your anger. Come out from your busy-ness. Come out from your materialism. Come out and be healed by Jesus. (Celebration Magazine).
Can you imagine Jesus shouting? Jesus speaks things into existence. When you or I say something it may or may not happen. When Jesus speaks it does happen. “Let there be light.” “This is my body.” Lazarus come out!”
The Gospel challenges us today to ask, “Do I believe in the healing power of Jesus?” Do I believe that the Son of God can accomplish anything, no matter how seemingly impossible? A spiritual lesson of Lazarus is that Jesus can work in any situation, no matter how seemingly dead.
I hope you were able to watch the Holy Father on Friday at the extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing. If not please watch a video or get a text of his speech. He spoke on:
Mark 4 Jesus is in a boat on the Sea of Galilee with the disciples.
An unexpected turbulent storm blows in.
They cry, “We are perishing!”
This is how we can feel now with our crisis.
We are together in the same boat. We must row together.
Notice that Jesus is sleeping in the boat!
The disciples cry, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?”
Do we say the same today?
They think that Jesus is not interested. That Jesus does not care about them.
“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” We are not self-sufficient
Let us row together!
Doctors, nurses, supermarket workers, cleaners, caregivers, truck drivers, law enforcement and first responders, volunteers.
Let Jesus navigate.
Faith begins when we realise we are in need of salvation. We are not self-sufficient; by ourselves we founder: we need the Lord, like ancient naviagators needed the stars.
There will not be a shipwreck with Jesus at the helm
Lord awaken and revive our Easter Faith!
The Good News of Lent is that Jesus can always bring us back to life. Just as He raised Lazarus from the dead so He can bring our souls back to life. Lent is time to be reborn from death unto life. The reality is we are all sinners. Jesus stands in front of our caves this weekend. He says, “Come out” to our fears and anxiety, to our lack of faith and trust, to our self centeredness.
Ezekiel wrote in 600 BC but his words continue to apply to us today. “O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them…I will put my spirit in you that you may live…thus you shall know that I am the Lord. I have promised, and I will do it, says the Lord.”
May these words come true in our lives as they did in the life of Lazarus.