Wednesday of the Fourth Week in Lent
(Isaiah 49:8-15; John 5:17-30)
No song expresses the glory of the Irish more than “Danny Boy.” It speaks of their love, their fidelity, and their religion. Danny – who is he? a son, a friend, possibly a sweetheart – leaves his homeland but cannot forget it or his people. He will return and pay his respects to both. And if that return is delayed, then the visit to his people will take the form of a prayer, an “Ave,” for the dead.
Because Christ is at the center of that prayer, the “Hail, Mary,” it would not be said in vain. Indeed, for the Irish as for all Christians, life is Christ. He enables us to love truly now and to ultimately triumph over the forces that condemn the dead to oblivion. The gospel today expresses this two-fold victory by Jesus saying that the Son gives life to whomever he wishes and that those in tombs will hear his voice and come out.