This Sunday, the Fifth Sunday in Lent, has been traditionally called Passion Sunday, for as of today, the sufferings of our Redeemer become the main focus of our worship. It is called Dominica de Passione in the Roman Missal, and Dominica Passionis in the Breviary. Traditionally, all statues and crucifixes are veiled at the Vespers for Passion Sunday.
Regretfully, I am unable to share any photos from our church, and so I am posting a photo of the chapel
at St. Stephen’s House in Oxford, the seminary where I trained for priesthood:
Let me share with you also a few thoughts of the Holy Father on the Gospel reading for today, with another wonderful illustration by Jan Hearn:
“We all have within us some areas, some parts of our heart that are not alive, that are a little dead. . . . But if we become very attached to these tombs and guard them within us and do not will that our whole heart rise again to life, we become corrupted and our soul begins to give off, as Martha says, an ‘odor’, the stench of a person who is attached to sin. And Lent has something to do with this. Because all of us . . . can hear what Jesus said to Lazarus: ‘He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!’”
“Today I invite you to think for a moment: Where is the dead part of my soul? Where is my tomb? . . .
Let us think: what part of the heart can be corrupted because of my attachment to sin, one sin or another?
And to remove the stone, to take away the stone of shame and allow the Lord to say to us, as he said to Lazarus,
“Come out!” That all our soul might be healed, might be raised by the love of Jesus, by the power of Jesus.
He is capable of forgiving us. We all need it! All of us. We are all sinners, but we must be careful not to become corrupt! Sinners we may be, but he forgives us. Let us hear that voice of Jesus who, by the power of God, says to us, ‘Come out! Leave that tomb you have within you. Come out. I give you life, I give you happiness, I bless you, I want you for myself.’"
“May the Lord today, on this Sunday, which speaks so much about the resurrection, give us all the grace to rise from our sins, to come out of our tombs; with the voice of Jesus, calling us to go out, to go to him.”
(From a homily by Pope Francis of 6 April 2014)
By Fr Tomas