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Thought of the day
Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Saint John Damascene (c.675-749), monk, theologian, Doctor of the Church Triodion of matins for the Saturday of Lazarus, Odes 6-9 “ And Jesus wept. So the Jews said : See how he loved him ”

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Commentary of the day 

Saint John Damascene (c.675-749), monk, theologian, Doctor of the Church Triodion of matins for the Saturday of Lazarus, Odes 6-9

“ And Jesus wept. So the Jews said : See how he loved him ”

O Lord, since you are true God you knew about Lazarus's sleep and had made it known to your disciples... Since you are true man, who nevertheless are without limit, you came to Bethany. True man, you wept upon Lazarus; true God, you raised, by your will, this man who had been dead for four days. O Lord, have mercy on me too; my sins are numerous. I beg you, come, pull me out of the abyss of evil. It is to you that I cry; listen to my prayer, God of my salvation. 

After weeping for your friend, in your compassion you put an end to Martha's tears, and through your voluntary Passion you wipe away the tears from all faces (Is 25:8). “Blessed be the Lord, the God of our Fathers” (Ezr 7:27). You, the guardian of life, cried out to the dead man as if he were sleeping. With a word you tore open the belly of hell and raised him who then began to sing: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of my Fathers”. Raise me up too, I who am strangled by the ties of my sins, and I will then sing to you: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of our Fathers”... 

In her gratitude, Mary brings you, O Lord, a pound of costly perfumed oil as a due for her brother (Jn 12:3) and she sings to you forever and ever.  As mortal you pray the Father, as God you awaken Lazarus. This is why we sing to you, O Christ, forever and ever... You awaken Lazarus, a man dead for four days, you raise him from his tomb, making of him a true witness of your resurrection on the third day. You walk, you weep, you talk, O my Savior, showing us your human nature; but by raising Lazarus you reveal to us your divine nature. In such an unparallelled way as this, O Lord my Saviour, by your two natures and with sovereign power you accomplished my salvation.

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