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Fifth Sunday of Lent

29 March 2020

 

Unbind him, let him go free.

 

Introduction

 

The Good News we live by is a message of life.  The Spirit of life, which hovered over creation at its very beginning, has been given to us.  That Spirit calls us together now to sing the praises of the God from whom all life comes.

 

Todays Readings

 

First Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14

 

Only the Lord can raise the dead to life.

 

Second Reading: Romans 8:8-11

 

The Sprit of God, the Spirit of Life, has made a home in us.

 

Gospel: John 11:1-45

 

Jesus tells us that whoever believes in him will never die.

 

It is easy to imagine just how petrified and astounded people would have been to see Lazarus suddenly emerge from his tomb after four days.  It is curious that Jesus waited until he knew Lazarus was dead before going to Bethany.  One possibility is that there was a Jewish belief that the soul hovered near the body for three days after death, but, by the fourth day, all hope of life was gone.  Lazarus really was dead.

 

Jesus himself is quite clear that this whole situation will lead to God’s glory and the glory of the Son.  He says repeatedly throughout this story that this great sign will lead people to faith, as it does for his disciples, for Martha and Mary, and for the people standing round the tomb.  He wants them to believe that he is the one sent by the Father.  Jesus explains to Martha that faith in him is the only way to resurrection and life.  And the story concludes by telling us that many of the people who witnessed this miracle did, in fact, come to believe in him.

 

Raising the dead to life is a sure sign of the presence and action of God.  In Ezekel, the Lord says: “You will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people… and I shall resettle you on your own soil.”  Here in Bethany, we see Jesus exercising that divine power, fulfilling God’s promise.

 

Over the last three Sundays, the Church has been focusing in its readings and prayers on the many people across the world who will be receiving the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil: the Sacraments of life, of new, eternal life.  These Sunday Gospels have presented us with various images of what coming to faith in Christ is like: having a spring of water inside us, welling up into eternal life (the woman of Samaria); moving from blindness to sight, from darkness to light (the blind man); and today, in the story of Lazarus, it is described as being a movement from lying down to being lifted up, from being bound to being free, from death to life.  This is the difference believing in Christ makes to our lives – whether we are new to faith in Christ or old hands.

 

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MASSES FOR THE WEEK – MASSES HAVE BEEN CANCELLED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

 

Please call the parish office at 613-547-5004, after 5 April to reschedule.

 

AUTOMATIC DEBIT

Automatic Debit is available for those St. Joseph’s parishioners wishing to have their Sunday Offering and/or Building Fund Collection debited directly from their bank account on a monthly basis. Those who wish to begin Automatic Debit are asked to call the parish office at 613-547-5004.


OUR PARISH

 

The Church and Parish Office are closed until further notice.  If you have an emergency, please call 613-547-5004.  Leave your name, phone number and a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

FREE BOOKS There are a number of books that have been donated to the church which you are free to take.  Once the church is open again, you may find a few of them in the St. Joseph’s Room and the remainder are in the book case in the sacristy.  Please feel free to take what interests you home to read.

 

PASTORAL CARE WORKSHOP This workshop would assist parishes to start a pastoral care team, or be useful for those that already have an existing team.  Please contact the parish office at 613-547-5004, if you would be interested in attending one of these workshops; and, if there is enough interest, we will go ahead and book one.

 

DEVELOPMENT & PEACE COLLECTION Please have your donations submitted to the parish by 30 April, as they will be forwarded to the Archdiocese at that time.  Thank you.

 

WORLD YOUTH DAY 2020 This year’s WYD will be held at the diocesan level on the theme; “Young man, I sat to you, ‘Arise’.” (Lk 7:14) Pope Francis’ Message for the 35th World Youth Day is available at:

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/youth/index.html

 

OUR COMMUNITY

 

BIRTHRIGHT KINGSTON is looking for compassionate, non-judgmental individuals who desire to bring hope and encouragement to pregnant women and their pre-born children.  For information, call 613-546-5433, or email info@kingstonbrithright.ca.

 

TOTUS TUUS CATHOLIC SUMMER CAMP This faith-based week-long camp that includes activities, skits, sports, crafts, music and outdoor play will take place this summer in July.  For more information, or to register, visit www.romancatholic.kingston.on.ca/totustuus or call Nadia Gundert at 613-484-2446, Financial contributions to help sponsor children to attend camp are welcome.

 

PRAYERS FOR THOSE WHO ARE ILL

 

Please remember in your prayers the following: James Parsons; Judy Dowling; Millie Lane; John Dowling; Desmond Dowling; Steve Bruce; Laure Unger; Joe Fonseca; Marc M;  Rob Hurst; Teresa Khidir; Angeli Asenci; Kathleen Forsyth; Diane Lavery; Pat Gilmartin; Donna C.; Eileen Teppett; Jordyn Haunts Geddes; Erin Sullivan; Lu Raposo; Jill Jodoin; Ken Linseman; Marcus Hacault; Annie Mastorakos; Natalie Malenfant; Trudy Potvin; Vivian Blacklock; Kathy Macera.

 

PRAYERS FOR THE DECEASED

 

You are asked to remember in prayer those recently deceased.

 

If there are members of your family or friends who are ill or have recently died, and for whom you wish prayers, please contact the rectory to provide their names.