Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fifth Sunday of Lent. Year A - Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fifth Sunday of Lent. Year A - Sunday, March 29, 2020
(EPISODE: 216)

Readings for
5th Sunday of Lent A
Ezekiel 37:12-14
Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8. "With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption."
Romans 8:8-11
John 11:25a+26). Glory and Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ! I am the Resurrection and the life, says the Lord. Whoever believes in me will not die forever.
John 11:1-45 - Raising Lazarus
Image Credit: Shutterstock Licensed ID: 1550955998. October 10, 2019 Larnaca, Cyprus. The church of St. Lazarus. The icon near the entrance to the church. By Altosvic
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Year A  - Sunday, March 29, 2020, by clicking this link here:  (EPISODE: 216)
I am the resurrection,  says the Lord in today's wonderful gospel.  This is such a beautiful and important scripture passage today.  Our Lord assures us that he has the power and the intention to raise us to eternal life;  to call us out of the grave and into the new life of the Kingdom.  This powerful scene of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus shows us so many things.  He feels deeply for us in our loss even at the same time he is certain that he will call us into eternal life- but he still shares with us the pain of loss.  He also reminds us that as well as the promise of the bodily resurrection on the last day,  we can meanwhile get caught in many symbolic tombs during our living years as well.  We can get stuck in e darkness of attitudes, actions and thoughts that are not life-giving.  We can get bound up with cares and ambitions that wrap us in the things of death and not of new life.  Our Lord has the power to call us out of the tombs and darkness and enmeshment of this life as well as the ultimate call to eternal life.  let us trust in this promise and follow Christ into the light of his new life for us.  
For people throughout the world dealing with the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. That the Lord will grant healing and strength and support the medical and emergency response people. Lord hear us.  Lord Save us. 
We continue to pray for all people throughout the world - the many people- who are suffering due to the Coronavirus pandemic -  We pray for those who have died, that the Lord will receive them into his care. For bereaved family and friends, who also have experienced the isolation from loved ones at this time of health-restrictions and quarantine. We also pray for everyone affected by this terrible illness, including all suffering the isolation and the severe economic and financial effects. May the Lord inspire people of goodwill to find practical solutions to help and heal and lessen the burdens of so many.

(The following is a couple of sections from the poem entitled).   
LAZARUS.  (John 11:1-53)   (Written by Dan Doyle).

"If only his friend had been here,
He would not have died,"
We say to one another.
If only…If only…
Is our desperate prayer.

"Rabbi, If you had been here
my brother would not have died."
"Martha, he will rise again."
"Yes, I know this, Rabbi. At the Resurrection."
"I am the one who raises the dead. Do you believe me, Martha?"
"Yes, Master.  Oh, yes, I believe.
I know you and with all my heart
I believe in you."

Then, Jesus wept.

…. In the days that followed
we talked excitedly about this miracle
that we had all been witness to.
And, still, many could not believe
in their weary and frightened hearts
that this son of an old carpenter from Nazareth,
this wandering rabbi, Jesus,
might be the one we have been waiting for
since the time of Moses and the prophets.

But some of us knew that this Jesus,
who had come so gently,
yet so powerfully among us,
was, indeed, the Messiah of God
and we began to tell everyone we met
what we had seen him do for Lazarus, our friend.

Lazarus lived on for many years
and never tired of telling the story.
in hushed and awe-filled tones.
And we never tired of listening.

Lazarus was a man of gentle knowledge,
of abiding faith, and of quiet strength.
He told us over and over again
that we were loved by one
who knows our hearts, and who
despises not our petitions,
and that we would never be alone.

We began going to the synagogue differently.
We listened to the words the Rabbi read
from the ancient prophets more closely
and we were moved in our hearts and minds.

At long last, Lazarus died
and we wept for sorrow again.
But we knew in our depths
that he was not dead,
that the Resurrection
promised by the prophets is real,
that death no longer holds sway
over our simple lives,
and that we will see each other again

in the world to come.  Amen

Jesus said a lot of words to people in his ministry…  (Words perfectly formed, and completely based on truth and backed up by action). Sometimes the things he said really challenged the faith of those who were with him……Other times, it healed and uplifted people, forgave and included people in a way they never could have imagined.    

In the gospel today, Jesus talks to them about God having the final say on suffering and death……   / Jesus is powerfully SHOWING that HE DOES CARE…. HE DOES LOVE US…..  It profoundly matters WHEN PEOPLE SUFFER, GRIEVE, DIE…   ….  OR FEEL TRAPPED BY THEIR PAST SINS or MISTAKES….. HE CRIES WITH US…..  not because he feels helpless and can do nothing…    he can do so much…   he cries in union with us…  because he feels and experiences along with us.  HE SIGHS FROM THE HEART FOR US……..    AND HE SPEAKS WORDS OF CHANGE…..




I AM the resurrection and the life.  ….

Some other very special words have a powerful effect because they are so intimately connected with Jesus' life, attitudes and actions//  His message and the perfectly consistent qualities about himself are a perfect union. ….

These words are powerful, For the Spirit hovering over them, fills them with resonance and effectiveness.

Words such as:

 "Your sins are forgiven"
 "Your debt is cancelled"
 "Be Opened"
 "Unbind him…. set him free!"
 "This is my body broken for you…..  
This is my blood poured out for you "

I love these words….  I know you do too……    They fill us with hope… But more than that… they immediately begin achieving what they say……. 

No wonder the church believes so powerfully in the reality and the effectiveness of the Sacraments – where we touch, taste, smell, hear and see the action of Our Lord – connected to his ministry and mission – made present to us in every age.

Surely it is only Divine love that can truly fill us with the fullness of life again….……and call us to life-eternal.   Drawn near, embraced…., healed, forgiven, included….  Always LOVED.
Fr Paul W. Kelly

Doyle, D. (2020). This Poem Gives Such A Great Perspective On How Powerful and Yet Tender Our Lord Is!. [online] FaithHub. Available at: [Accessed 7 Feb. 2020].
Fr Paul W. Kelly

Image Credit: Shutterstock Licensed ID: 1550955998. October 10, 2019, Larnaca, Cyprus. The church of St. Lazarus. The icon near the entrance to the church. By Altosvic
Archive of homilies and reflections:
To contact Fr. Paul, please email:

To listen to my weekly homily audio podcast, please click this link here.
NB - It is often a week or so Ahead:

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Further information relating to the audio productions linked to this Blog:
"Faith, Hope and Love - Christian worship and reflection"  - Led by Rev Paul Kelly

Prayers and chants  — Roman Missal, 3rd edition, © 2010, The International Commission on English in the liturgy. (ICEL)

Scriptures - New Revised Standard Version: © 1989,  and 2009 by the NCC-USA. (National Council of Churches of Christ - USA)

"The Psalms" ©1963, 2009,  The Grail - Collins publishers.

Prayers of the Faithful -   " Together we pray" by Robert Borg'.   E.J. Dwyer, Publishers, (1993) . (Sydney Australia).

Lenten Hymn: "Have Mercy," inspired by Psalm 50(51). Music by Paul W. Kelly. Arranged and sung, with additional lyrics by Stefan Kelk. 2020.

[ Production -  KER -  2020]
May God bless and keep you. 
Fifth Sunday of Lent. Year A  (Sunday, March 29, 2020)  (EPISODE: 216)
The Lord be with you.

My brothers and sisters, we have gathered to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, - so let us pause and reflect upon our sins, so as to rejoice in Gods loving mercy.
Lord Jesus, you came to gather the nations into the peace of God's kingdom: Lord, have mercy// You come in word and in sacrament to strengthen us and make us holy: Christ, have mercy//You will come again in glory with salvation for your people: Lord, have
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen.

UNIVERSAL PRAYER. (Prayer of the Faithful)

That our Church leaders will be devoted to the pastoral and spiritual needs of all in this time of anxiety.       (Pause).  Lord Hear us.

That in this time of international crisis, people will discover anew the importance of faith, and the consolation of knowing God’s love.        (Pause).  Lord Hear us.

That those affected by the coronavirus - the sick, the unemployed, and those whose businesses are on the verge of collapse, find strength and practical support at this difficult time.        (Pause).  Lord Hear us.

That we as a Parish Community will value friendships and remain faithful to our friends especially in their time of greatest need.       (Pause).  Lord Hear us.

That our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are denied their basic human rights will receive respect, justice and assistance.        (Pause).  Lord Hear us.

That those who have died - the members of our families and parish, as well as victims of the coronavirus throughout the world – may rest in the peace of Christ.        (Pause).  Lord Hear us.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Memorial Acclamation
2. When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.
Sunday Lent V
Eucharistic Prayer III
Communion side.  PWK: 
Bless you all and May God's grace guide you each and every day.}

Go in peace. (glorifying the Lord by your life)

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