Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle A

Our readings for Sunday are here.   Gird your loins for the final opportunities and slogging of Lent!

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homily from the Mass of

  • April 2, 2017 5PM

The poems Fr Dennis references this year are:

In 2017, we reflected on —

  • Emotion — Jesus loves everyone; he has compassion in his innards and his very bones.
  • In the gospel of the Lazarus story, Jesus is really involved:
    • the resuscitation of Lazarus (dead and body “revived,” foreshadowing the true resurrection of Jesus)”wept””perturbed”
    • loving deeply
  • Martha (and Mary) — “If you had been here ..” what faith and accusation all rolled into one.
  • Billy Collins’ poem I Love You
    • Billy Collins is a one-time poet laureate for the United States
    • Bartleby, is a character in one of Melville’s novels — Bartleby the Scrivener (a copier)
    • “I would prefer not to” — this sense of Jesus revealing the glory of God’s Love through himself in his small, every day actions, but also even to resuscitating someone dear — an act that is surely to hasten Jesus’ own death, as the more Jesus performs miracles in public, the more urgency the leaders of the Jewish religious communities will feel to eliminate him and his ministry.
  • Kim Dower’s Room Service English Muffins
    • What if feels like to be far from home — in distance and in comforting familiarity (or even distortions of it)
    • But, in essence, the poem is capturing our hope for home, and that is a core intuition of today’s readings.  Our physical death is this waystation between the home we can make here, albeit a trickier tuning to our Home in God. 
    • This also reminds me (rl) of a poem recommendation Fr Dennis made, though he did not use it in a homily that I recall or noted.  It is John Shea’s The God Who Fell from Heaven, and the lines for by now / the secret is out / You are home.
  • Our image today is one I found while surfing the web for a different take on the Lazarus imaging and iconography.  It is The Raising of Lazarus by William E Pajaud, an American artist who draws deeply on his New Orleans upbringing.  I loved the painting for its colors, and its focus on the encounters between Mary, Martha, Jesus, and Lazarus through their faces, the use of circles, and the images and placements of hands. An African-American, Mr. Pajaud devoted much of his additional energies to the curating, education, and cultivation of additional African-American artists’ work and heritage.

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