March 29: Fifth Sunday of Lent

Posted by Campus Ministry on Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 6:00 AM PDT

As I sit at home grieving, on a small scale, the loss of normalcy that COVID-19 has forced on my life and, on a large scale, the heartbreaking loss of vitality it has forced on the world and especially on the most vulnerable among us, I am comforted by the humanity Jesus shows in today’s gospel. After Jesus hears from Martha and Mary that their brother Lazarus is ill (Jn 11:3) and witnesses Mary and her friends weeping at his feet for Lazarus who lies dead in the tomb, he becomes “perturbed and deeply troubled” (Jn 11:33) and weeps (Jn 11:35). In this interaction with Mary, Jesus reveals himself as distinctly human: just as Mary weeps and wails and laments her loss, so too does Jesus. In light of our present context of global suffering, hardship, and loss, we must remember that Jesus is beside us always, accompanying us in our pain as he accompanied Mary in hers.

When we realize that Jesus, who is “the resurrection and the life” (Jn 11:25) on whom we pin our hope and try to model our lives, experiences pain and sadness and still demonstrates great power by raising people like Lazarus from the dead, we can free ourselves from the myth that grief is a sign of weakness and incompatible with our ability to hope and power for doing good. As people made in the image of God who are the hands and feet of Christ on Earth, we have the capacity to mourn like Mary, to hope like Martha (Jn 11:24), and to act like Jesus. As we continue to weather this crisis of pandemic, let us ask ourselves: How can we accompany each other in our grief and fear? How can we maintain hope? Where can we direct our resources to alleviate suffering? And above all, how can we can use our God-given power for good?



Olivia Digiorno, Class of 2021