ON THIS FIFTH SUNDAY IN THE SEASON OF LENT we hear the voice of Jesus calling clearly “Lazarus come out!” And so Jesus calls out to each of us – you and me – “Lazarus come out!” Someone else has done the heavy lifting. Someone else rolled away the stone for us. Jesus did this with the sacrificial love of the cross. But we still have to come out ourselves. We have to leave the familiar comfort of our tomb. Stinky and foul as it is, we have to leave the familiar comfort of our self-centered lives, and we have to walk to the voice, walk to Jesus, walk to the one who is calling us. And we have walked to Him. And life is so much more beautiful now! The air is fresh. We forgot how great that was to live in fresh air. The birds are singing. Our ears are no longer ringing with the clamor, the noise of selfishness. Life smells good. Life is beautiful now as we walk to the One who is calling us, as we walk to Jesus. And Jesus says, “I called you from the tomb so others can live also. I need you to be my voice. I need you to call out.” We look around us. The gossip. It is as though the only joy that some people have in their lives is tearing down others. The using. So many people only have one thought when it comes to another person: “What’s in it for me?” The hollow joy of momentary pleasures. The party now, worry later attitude that results in self-destruction. The selfishness that locks us into a downward spiral. And we recognized the frustration of so many around us, the frustration that had been under the thin surface of our own lives, and we call out to others: “Lazarus, come out!” So many who are all wrapped up in their little worlds see you, see me, and say, “I want to be happy like him, like her.” Our very happiness, our living the life of Jesus Christ calls out to others, “Lazarus, come out of that tomb!” By seeking union with the One to whom we walk when we leave our tombs, we are calling others to join us, “Lazarus, come out!” By living a Christian lifestyle, even though that means being different that those who brag about their immorality, even though that means being holy, for being different is being holy, our very lives call out to all, “Lazarus, come out!” Why should I live in a dark, foul tomb? Why should you? Why should anyone live among the dead? Listen, listen to the voice. Walk to the voice. Help others to listen. Let them listen to His voice in us. And so we shout to the world with our lives: “Walk with us and with Lazarus. Walk with us, to the One who is the Lord of Life – Jesus Christ!”
• As we approach Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, please keep in mind that extra priests will again be available to hear your confessions during the Weekly Holy Hours this coming week, and when confessions are offered during Holy Week. Included in this bulletin is another Examination of Conscience to help you in preparing the make a good confession, along with a listing of remaining times for Lenten confessions here at Saint Joseph Cathedral. As Pope Francis reminds us: “The Sacrament of Penance or Confession is, in fact, like a ‘second baptism’ that refers back always to the first to strengthen and renew it. In this sense, the day of our Baptism is the point of departure for this most beautiful journey, a journey towards God that lasts a lifetime, a journey of conversion that is continually sustained by the Sacrament of Penance. Think about this: when we go to confess our weaknesses, our sins, we go to ask the pardon of Jesus, but we also go to renew our Baptism through his forgiveness. And this is beautiful, it is like celebrating the day of Baptism in every Confession. Therefore, Confession is not a matter of sitting down in a torture chamber, rather it is a celebration. Confession is for the baptized! To keep clean the white garment of our Christian dignity!”(Pope Francis, excerpt from General Audience, November 13, 2013)
• The Cathedral schedule for HOLY WEEK, HOLY THURSDAY, GOOD FRIDAY and EASTER SUNDAY is included in this bulletin – please keep this as a handy reference in your home so that you can participate fully in the liturgies during this holiest of all times in the Christian world. Please make Holy Week a “holy” period of time in your life. Set aside additional time for you and your family members for prayer and reflecting Christ’s Passion. In preparation for Christ’s passion, I have included an article in this bulletin so that you might reflect on the Passion prior to the proclamation of the Passion in the coming weeks.
• I wish to thank Fr. Jared Wicks, S.J., who has been celebrating Mass here at the Cathedral for the past six Sundays. His homilies have been insightful for us all, and I thank him for his ministry here – he is most welcome at any time. Make sure you carve out time in your schedule to hear Fr. Wicks and Msgr. Frank Lane on here in the Cathedral on Tuesday, April 22, for their presentation: “Two Popes, Two Saints: Perspectives on John XXIII and John Paul II.” Check the center of this bulletin.
• I want to thank in advance those who have volunteered to clean the Cathedral this coming Monday, April 7. It’s good to spend time on our hands and knees in prayer in the church, but also to clean the Cathedral in preparation for the holiest time of the year. Thank you for your help…see you there!
Fr. Mike Lump