Lectionary Reflections: Fifth Sunday of Lent [a] April 2, 2017

Engaging Faith | Fri, Mar 24, 2017

By John Bucki, S.J.
Source: Education for Justice

Fifth Sunday of Lent [a]

April 2, 2017


Ezekiel 37:12-14

Romans 8:8-11

John 11:1-45



April 2: World Autism Awareness Day 

April 4: International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action  

April 6: International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

April 7: World Health Day (

April 7: International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda in 1994

April 9: Palm Sunday, start of Holy Week



Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or willful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practice them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonor to the Creator.

— Second Vatican Council, Gaudium Et Spes, 27

There is a growing awareness of the sublime dignity of human persons, who stand above all things and whose rights and duties are universal and inviolable. They ought, therefore, to have ready access to all that is necessary for living a genuinely human life: for example, food, clothing, housing ... the right to education, and work...

— Second Vatican Council, Gaudium Et Spes, 26

The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as "good news" to the people of every age and culture.

— John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, 1

We incarnate the duty of hearing the cry of the poor when we are deeply moved by the suffering of others. Let us listen to what God’s word teaches us about mercy, and allow that word to resound in the life of the Church.

— Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 193

Exposure to atmospheric pollutants produces a broad spectrum of health hazards, especially for the poor, and causes millions of premature deaths.

— Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 20

Let us not leave in our wake a swath of destruction and death…

— Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 215

Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.

— Pope Francis, Laudato Si, 240


Thoughts for Your Consideration

The scriptures today are about life and about death.
In the midst of a world with so much death, we believe in a God of life.
In the scripture from Ezekiel, God says “I will put my spirit in you that you may live.”

Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus.
We too have so many deaths to weep over:

  • The hundreds of thousands of deaths in the fighting in Syria,
  • the continuous killings of people in Chicago and other urban centers,
  • the countless refugees who have died trying to get to Europe on the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea,
  • the ongoing deaths in the violence in South Sudan,
  • the deaths from acts of terrorism all over the world,
  • the many, many deaths from ethnic and racial fighting in countless places,
  • the deaths of those without adequate medical care,
  • so many deaths by suicide,
  • the deaths of children who do not get adequate nutrition,
  • the continuing deaths from the use of the death penalty,
  • the deaths of people who die alone and feel unloved,
  • the deaths from substance abuse,
  • the deaths from industrial accidents,
  • the deaths from pollution and the use of toxic chemicals,
  • the death of our planet and so many species of plants and animals

To read the rest of this reflection from John Bucki, S.J., as well as his reflection questions, faith in action links, prayers of intercession, and prayer meditations, become a member of Education for Justice:

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