Lent 5 A: The Resurrection of Lazarus

The powerful vision in the valley of the dry bones complements the resurrection of Lazarus. God speaks tenderly to His people, without judgment, condemnation, and threat; he says twice in the reading “O my people.” God speaks personally in the first person singular; the Hebrew stresses the verbs of God’s powerful actions, noting that none of these are things we human could do on our own even to this day. God opens graves, has people rise, brings the people back to their homeland. The grave opening is repeated twice. God says, I will put my Spirit in you, you may live, I will settle you, I promised, and I will do it.

Then you will know (repeated twice in our passage) the I am the LORD God. God is not doing this just to be nice to us, but to show forth his power and the right to claim our faith allegiance for God exclusively because of His conquest of death, sin, and evil.

As a background one should probably read the passage in context of the whole vision to get some small sense of the power of this end time event. Here on Laetare Sunday this lifts up our hearts and they surge to God in faith and worship with greater joy. Does a rose vestment help us and lead us to joy?

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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