The Perspective of Justice

Victory Over Death

Today’s Gospel recounts one of the most dramatic stories from the life of Jesus: the raising of Lazarus from the dead. John goes to great lengths to make clear that Lazarus had been dead for some time, and he shows Jesus’ power to conquer death.

We live in a world that has been caught up in death for a long time. We kill each other in acts of murder, abortion, euthanasia, execution, war, terrorist activities, drunk and reckless driving. 

We kill ourselves through suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, overwork, stress, bad eating habits, and physical neglect.

We watch calmly as others die from poverty, hunger and malnutrition, homelessness, unemployment, poor education, disease, lack of health coverage, child abuse, arms proliferation, discrimination, pollution, destruction of the environment, unsafe working conditions, and all the laws, policies, practices and attitudes which contribute to these conditions.

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He is the God who “will put my spirit in you that you may live.” Our Lenten celebration must serve to remind us that the paschal mystery represents a victory over death.

The right to life ... is basic and inalienable. It is grievously violated in our day by abortion and euthanasia, by widespread torture, by acts of violence against innocent parties, and by the scourge of war. The arms race is an insanity which burdens the world and creates the conditions for even more massive destruction of life.

Pope Paul VI, Message Issued in Union
with the Synod of Bishops

Gerald Darring

Now published in book form, To Love and Serve: Lectionary Based Meditations, by Gerald Darring This entire three year cycle is available at


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson