St. Wilfrid's Roman Catholic Church

Toronto, Canada

St. Wilfrid, Our Patron
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Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 5th Sunday in Lent


for Sunday, June 28, 2015

God controls death and life, yet God did not make death. God made us to live and to live fully. The first reading today, from the Book of Wisdom, is very clear that death comes from the Devil, from the Evil One. Death was not part of the plan for us in the beginning. As we reflect on this, we need to realize also that death is not just physical death, not even in the Scriptures. Death is about whatever should be alive in us and is not alive. When we begin to reflect on that, we see how much death is already in us, even as we live.

Think of all of the wonderful opportunities of grace that we have refused. Think of the ways in which we have not loved ourselves or God or one another. Just these two short meditations will reveal death at work within us. God did not make death! God wants us alive. How can we believe that when we are beset by death on all sides!

Our second reading today is from the Second Letter to the Corinthians speaks about the poverty of Christ. His poverty is that He, in some sense, gives up His Divinity to take on our humanity. Theologically He remains Divine, but from the human point of view, people see His humanity and are not sure what to believe about Him. This is also a sign for us. We must give up all that keeps us from loving others. We don't like to live that way. We prefer to love others while keeping all that we already have. That is our human nature after it has fallen. Instead, Jesus Christ invites us to live His Divine Life and to learn how to choose others before ourselves. O wondrous mystery!!

The Gospel of Mark today gives us two accounts. The first is the account of the death of the daughter of the synagogue official. This account is interrupted to tell us about the women with hemorrhages for twelve years. Then we return to the daughter of the synagogue official.

Both of these accounts are about life, once more. God did not make death! God wants us to live fully. God does not want this daughter of the synagogue official to die and so restores her life. God does not want this woman with hemorrhages to have that kind of lack of life and so heals her. God did not make death!

So often when we pray and God does not respond to what we want, we abandon God and think of God as useless. This synagogue official knew enough to persevere in pray and to keep asking Jesus, even though the messengers from his house were tell him that his daughter was dead! The woman with hemorrhages knew enough to sneak up on Jesus and touch Him, believing that her life would be changed - and it was.

What about us? What do we do? Do we believe that death is from God? Do we believe that God does not care about us? Do accept the small deaths that come into our lives? Or do we live like the woman in the Gospel today and like the synagogue official? Where is our own faith commitment now?

Readings of the day:
First Reading: Wisdom 1.13-15; 2.23-24
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 8.7, 9, 13-15
Gospel: Mark 5.21-43

Homily from Abbot Philip, OSB, of the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert.


Reflections are available for the following Sundays:


St. Wilfrid's Parish, Toronto