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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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Wednesday

Fifth Sunday of Lent: Living words

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

This chapter in the Gospel of St. John is unique as well as dramatic. It contains the longest narrative outside of the Passion of Christ and is a preview of the death and resurrection of Jesus, which takes place a short time afterward. However, most important of all, it is the revelation of Jesus as Our Savior and Redeemer.

Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary. He visited them occasionally in Bethany, a village two miles from Jerusalem. Word came to him as he was preaching in Galilee with his apostles that his friend Lazarus was ill. Greatly concerned, he completed his ministry in Galilee two days later, and told Thomas that they would go to Bethany in spite of the threats to his life made by the religious authorities in Jerusalem.

When he arrived near the home of Lazarus, Martha greeted him with emotion and disappointment since her brother had died and was buried four days earlier. It was then that Jesus told her that Lazarus was asleep and would rise again. Martha agreed, but said it would only be the resurrection of the dead at the end of time.

Jesus replied: “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live; and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” Then, when Jesus met Mary and saw all the people mourning, he was greatly disturbed and wept. He then asked Mary where they had buried Lazarus and told them to roll back the stone from the cave. He shouted, “Come out, Lazarus!” To the astonishment of all, Lazarus came out and they unwrapped his bindings; and the words of Jesus to Martha came alive; and now they come alive again, and again, and every season of Lent.

Our belief in Christ, which is so vital for life, is measured by our practice of our faith. We are reminded daily of God’s love for us by looking at the crucifix, and we return our acts of love whereby we share in his divine life — regular prayer, reception of the sacraments, acts of charity (corporal and spiritual). We offer all these acts, so that when he calls us home after our journey of faith, we will have the fullness of joy in Our Father’s house.

— Fr. Philip Cabasino

Father Cabasino professed vows as a Redemptorist in 1941 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1947.