Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

(Isaiah 49:8-15; John 5:17-30)

The Jews in Babylon must have heard the promises that Isaiah makes in the first reading on behalf of God in the first reading as incredible.  They probably asked themselves how could they escape from the mighty arms of their captors.  They likely wondered as well how they could transverse the torrid desert that lay between them and their homeland. 

Many hear Jesus’ claims in the gospel with similar questions in mind.  “How,” they ask, “can people rise from the dead?”  In an atmosphere where truth is determined by repeated experiment, rising from the dead is indeed beyond realistic possibility.

Yet we believe that God is greater than our imaginations can accept as possible.  There is the credible testimony of the apostles that Jesus died, was buried, and was raised from the dead.  There is also abundant evidence of people being radically transformed to perform acts of heroic virtue through trust in him.  We fix our sights on him, emulate his virtue, and hope beyond hope that we will share his destiny.