SUNDAY OF LENT: I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THELIFE
MOST OF US have some experiences of death in our respective
families. The departure of a beloved is not easy to bear. Death is a painful
reality. Through this pain, we can easily understand the feelings and emotions
of Martha and Mary over the loss of their brother, Lazarus. If God were to
visit us at a time when our loved one dies unexpectedly, we would also tell
him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother (or sister or friend) would not
For us, Filipinos, every family member is important and is being
valued. We would not want a member to leave us much sooner. We want him or her
to stay with us. We don’t want him or her to die, in other words.
However, in the moments when we experience pain because one has
died, we also find a consolation in and through the words of Jesus. Let us
recall the words that Jesus uttered to Martha: “Your brother will rise…”,
and the other one, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Both words of
Jesus are words of promise and hope. Look! Jesus did not say, “I am the death
and resurrection” but ‘I am the resurrection and the life.” In the eyes of
Jesus or in God, it will always be life. In the eyes of God, the person who
dies actually lives.
What is simply needed from us is faith. When Jesus asked Martha:
“Do you believe this?”, her answer was, “Yes
People who have no faith in the resurrection, would simply look
at life as a process from birth to dust and death comes along as a humiliation
to make a mockery of their living, their hopes, their plans and dreams. For
them, there is nothing to hope for and to expect after a person dies.
But it is not the same with Christians, with the Catholics, in
particular. We are a people of faith. We, Christians, need to realize that
actually, death is a great moment of life. Death can be the fulfillment of our
hope and longings. We yearn for heaven. We long to see God. And these can only
be had in and though death.
Certainly, this does not come easy to us. However, in our world
today, death is becoming more predictable. There are illnesses which remain
incurable, like cancer. And more and more people are afflicted by this disease.
Cancer before was a one-off illness, but now, it is becoming more out of
control. If only people see how precarious life is, then it is much easier to
accept death. And Christian death is something meaningful.
LENTEN SEASON can be seen as a call for us to undergo the
process of dying so that in the end we can live. There are many areas of dying
that we could look into. One is in the area of independence. Some of us do
things in the name of independence or some would call it, freedom. But if
freedom from God is simply meant to rebel against him by making our life no
longer in accord with his will, then, that is not freedom at all. There are
young people who left their families in the name of independence.
Unfortunately, some have failed because instead of becoming free, they are
actually enslaved by sins. The other area that we should look into is our
attitudes. Pride is one attitude which badly affects every relationship. Pride
does not give life. It ends every relationship or it makes every relationship
In these cases, dying is called for. Like Lazarus, we need to
come out from these “tombs of independence” and “tombs of pride” so that we may
live and become free.