Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent
March 24, 2018
Readings of the day: RB 44 The Reconciliation of Those ExcommunicatedMass: Ezk 37:21-28; Resp Ps (Jr 31); Jn 11:45-56
‘Lazarus, come out!’
Before we get today’s Gospel scene we find Jesus visiting his friends Martha and Mary in Bethany (Jn 11:1-44). There, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, causing further division amongst the Jews. Many of the Jews came to believe after seeing what Jesus did at Bethany. Others went to the Pharisees to report the latest. What would you make of it? Jesus continues to perform signs and wonders among the people. The Pharisees, chief priests, and Caiaphas dispute: ‘What are we going to do?’ The decision: ‘From that day on they planned to kill him.’ Seeking silence and solitude, Jesus enters the scene this way: He removes himself from the public eye and goes near the desert to remain with his disciples. Jesus doesn’t speak with words; he speaks with action. Jesus takes a contemplative stance to prepare for what comes next. Let us join Jesus and take time for silence and prayer to prepare for the passion.In Christianity we contemplate Jesus Christ as the Word make flesh, but also as the Silence of God. The Gospels show us a Jesus who, as he goes toward the passion, increasingly refrains from speaking and enters in silence, like a mute lamb. One who knows the truth and the inexpressible ground of reality neither wants nor is able to betray the ineffable in speech, but protects it with his silence. Jesus, who ‘does not open his mouth’ (Is 53:7), reveals that silence is what is truly strong. He makes his silence an action, and by doing so he is able to make his death an act, the gesture of a living person. In this context it should be clear that behind both words and silence, what truly saves is the love that gives life to both.
(E. Bianchi, Echoes of the Word, p. 114)