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Kerry WeberApril 08, 2022
The Raising of Lazarus, 1857, Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat (Wikimedia Commons)  

A Reflection for the Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

“What are we going to do?” (Jn 14:12).

In today’s Gospel, we learn that, thanks to his miracles, Jesus has been gaining followers. And this has some people—the chief priests and Pharisees among them—worried. “What are we going to do?” they ask, fearing what will happen if Jesus continues to gain power. They worry that their wealth and power, especially, will be taken from them. In response to this meeting, Caiaphas suggests that Jesus’ death might be preferable to the group’s potential loss of power, wealth or status.

And what is the particular miracle that has caused this kerfuffle? The raising of Lazarus from the dead. Which means that all of these people saw a dead man come alive, and their first thought was: So what does this mean for me?

All of these people saw a dead man come alive, and their first thought was: So what does this mean for me?

It’s easy to read this story and proclaim we would have acted otherwise. But, if we’re honest, all of us have at some point been guilty of trying to twist a narrative—good or bad—to put our own suffering or accomplishments at the center. All of us have worried at one time or another about how a changing dynamic in our home or workplace or society will affect our own standing, our comfort. And most of this time, these actions are, like the chief priests and Pharisees, motivated by a fear that blinds us to the good—and even the miraculous—right in front of us.

Lent gives us the chance to reorient our lives so that, no matter what happens, Christ is at the center. It allows us to gain perspective, to clear our heads, to confess our sins, to take some time to just be still. Then, when Easter arrives, we can ask among ourselves, “What are we going to do?” And, hopefully, we will be prepared to hear Christ speak the answer.

Get to know Kerry Weber, executive editor

What are you giving up for Lent?

Still managing to avoid eating sweets and avoid watching videos on my phone, except on Sundays (see below).

Do you cheat on Sundays?

I am now joyfully cheating on Sundays.

Favorite non-meat recipe

I love making this super-easy bread with tomato soup on Fridays.

Favorite Easter art

I enjoy Rembrandt’s depiction of Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene.

More: Lent / Scripture

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