Fifth Sunday of Lent

by Angie O'Gorman

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Fifth Sunday of Lent
Ezekiel 37:12-14

Psalm 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

Romans 8:8-11

John 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

Full text of the readings

In Ezekiel 37, we have the concept of resurrection in both its personal and communal sense and in its physical and spiritual sense. As I write, Lent is still a long way off. It is mid-October and the entombed coal miners in Chile are being lifted back to life in a capsule narrow enough to carry one man at a time through a tunnel drilled half a mile into the earth. Each wears sunglasses as protection from the coming onslaught of light. And, from above, as the capsule nearly reaches the surface, an orange-clad worker leans down and yells the miner’s name. “Esteban” or “Claudio” or “Renán.” When the miner calls back, the crowd too -- workers, families, community leaders -- chants his name and applauds, encouraging him to come from darkness back to light, from death back to life. Both the individual and community are resurrected. I cannot imagine hearing my name called from above, as the surface light begins to pierce the 70th day of my life in darkness. With what fierce determination I would call back, “Yes, here I am! It is me! I am alive!”

[This reflection is from Coming to Consciousness: Reflections for Lent 2011 by Angie O'Gorman and is based on the lectionary readings for each day of Lent. Coming to Consciousness is a publication of Pax Christi USA and is reprinted here by permission of the author and Pax Christi USA.

The full booklet has reflections for every day of Lent. You can order copies here: Coming to Consciousness: Reflections for Lent 2011. Bulk discounts are available.]

About the Author

Angie O’Gorman’s essays have been published in America magazine, National Catholic Reporter, and Commonweal. She has been involved in human rights work and nonviolent conflict resolution in the United States, Central America, and the West Bank. Her novel, The Book of Sins, was published last January.

About Pax Christi USA

In a world that settles differences by armed violence and defines “justice” as “revenge,” Pax Christi USA dares to break the cycle of violence by fostering reconciliation. Pax Christi USA is the national Catholic peace movement. Our membership includes more than 130 U.S. bishops, 800 parish sponsors, 650 religious communities, 75 high school and college campus groups, 300 local groups, and tens of thousands of individual members. The work of Pax Christi USA begins in personal life and extends to communities of reflection and action to transform structures of society. Pax Christi USA rejects war and every form of violence and domination.

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