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March 7: Memorial of Saints Perpetua and Felicity
St. Perpetua: "'...we were still under legal surveillance and my father was liked to vex me with his words and continually strove to hurt my faith because of his love: Father, said I, Do you see (for examples) this vessel lying, a pitcher or whatsoever it may be? And he said, I see it. And I said to him, Can it be called by any other name than that which it is? And he answered, No. So can I call myself nought other than that which I am, a Christian.'"  [Medieval Sourcebook]

March 8: Memorial of St. John of God
"'If we look forward to receiving God's mercy, we can never fail to do good so long as we have the strength.'" [Patron Saints Index]

March 9: Memorial of Frances of Rome
"She seemed able to subdue the passions of every type of person with a single word and lead them to do whatever she asked." [Patron Saints Index]

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Yes, faced with the signs of a creeping ‘culture of death’, Jesus' great revelation must still be heard today:‘I am the resurrection and the life.’

The Gospel for Sunday, March 13, 2005
Fifth Sunday of Lent
John: 11:1-45

"I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die" (Jn 11:25-26; cf. Gospel Acclamation).

We can imagine the surprise that such an announcement caused in his listeners, who a short time later, however, were able to see the truth of Jesus' words when, at his command, Lazarus, who had already been in the tomb for four days, came forth alive. An even more striking confirmation of this astonishing statement will be given later by Jesus when, by his own Resurrection, he will win the final victory over evil and death.

What had been foretold many centuries before by the prophet Ezekiel in addressing the Israelites deported to Babylon: "I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live" (Ez 37:14), will become a reality in the paschal mystery and will be presented by the Apostle Paul as the essential core of the new life of believers: "But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God really dwells in you" (Rom 8:9).

Does this not show the timeliness of the Gospel message? In a society in which signs of death are increasing but in which at the same time a profound need for hope in life is felt, it is the mission of Christians to continue to proclaim Christ, man's "resurrection and life". Yes, faced with the signs of a creeping "culture of death", Jesus' great revelation must still be heard today: "I am the resurrection and the life".

Let us repeat with the Evangelist: "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world" (Jn 11:27).

Like Martha, Lazarus' sister, today we too wish to renew our faith in Jesus and our friendship with him. By his Death and Resurrection we are given the fullness of life in the Holy Spirit. It is the divine life that can transform our existence into a gift of love for God and for our brothers and sisters.

March 7, 2005

Excerpted from the HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II, Fifth Sunday of Lent, 21 March 1999.

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03.06.05   Godspy says:
Yes, faced with the signs of a creeping ‘culture of death’, Jesus' great revelation must still be heard today: ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’

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