Fifth Sunday in Lent 2017

(I want to apologize for this long sermon that I prepared, also, I think you will find repeated phrases or words, as well as possibly confusing words and phrases that maybe you will not understand because I did the translation from Google translate and with my little knowledge that I have In English and Sorry for the little letters too,   but I did it with all my love and affection for you, God bless you all.) 

– Father Guillermo Castillo

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” “Life is an adventure with many unexpected experiences, many of them, strengthen us and encourage us, but others, leave us with grief, sadness, anger and frustration.”

Life is an adventure where we find many surprises, some are to be admired and celebrated and others to be lamented, When we look around, we discover that the life of each human being is marked by a specific history, for some people, their history is exciting, full of brilliant experiences, amazing moments and full of enthusiasm, for others, sadly, they have a history marked by pain, Deception, deep wounds and anxiety. So it is this adventure, but the good thing is that each history is a learning, it is benefit, comfort and strength for others, because in this human and Christian adventure, God has a purpose and a mission for us ,that is to influence and involve us in the lives of others to tell them that, they are part of our life and they are companions and friends in this journey of life and the community of faith.

We, how do we react to a circumstance that we do not like, it bothers us and makes us change our plans and our dreams? Well, the reaction, the attitude or the answer depends on how you and I are internally, because that difficult moment can make us strong, it can make us grow, it can make us mature and it can help us to produce good fruits Or they can do the opposite, It can knock us out, it can destroy us and we could become the less dreamy, the most pessimistic, the most unmotivated person. Where are you and me? Well, right now we all know we’re in the Church, right? What I mean is how prepared we are in this adventure of life and faith? We must be prepared, we must be clever to take advantage of such a situation to learn, to look for new initiatives that will lead us to repair and put in order and under control what is at risk and take back the good and learn from mistakes and continue on the right path, and all this agrees with what Jesus said in today’s Gospel: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?

Some people could think that the blessing and the glory of God is manifested only when they are well, they are happy and everything is calm, but it is not so, it also manifests itself in the storm, the pain, the problem and tragedy, because there we discover who We are, there we realize how strong or weak we are, and it is when we realize that we need each other and we all are pilgrims and some people carry heavier loads than others and We cannot leave them alone, but they must let themselves be helped.

Surely, in our confused moments, God has a mysterious plan for us, not understandable for our reason, but God wants to teach us to deepen our faith and discover that a community only has life, that generates fruits of fraternity and kindness. When each person allows God to provide guidelines, tools such as grace and wisdom for our good and those around us, that way it is easier for God to keep in order and stable this ship, this community, and so, we do not get lost, we do not crash and we do not sink. God, always act in different ways. The ship might be a bit mistreated, with cracks or small holes, but it is not destroyed, it is then when we all realize that we must do our work and we put our gifts in common, we start sharing ideas, sharing faith and values, and that way we are putting patches to the ship (that is faith, wisdom, strength and unity) And it is when the community becomes a fervent, vibrant, growing and firm community and we experience and see the glory of God in our community. Therefore, when everything is fine and there are no setbacks, we must be alert because we still do not know how to face, react or solve a crisis of faith or a discontent in the community.

Jesus wept, it is part of the human to feel pain, sadness and desolation, But also, it is like a relief when we are inhaling and exhaling, it is like stopping one moment in life to suffer with others and to feel the pain of others. At the same time, we renew strength and take a new impulse, and that is the moment when we bring life to death, we leave something to receive something better, we empty ourselves to refill, we take strength from suffering and we draw light from the darkness. For that, Jesus said that the stone had to be removed: To leave the past and walk towards the encounter of the neighbor, to leave the fears, the negativism and to recover the harmony and Christian motivation. Our hope is that our inner life is full of the good smell of the spirit, seeing and appreciating the qualities that each person has, believing in the inner beauty that each person has.

The two women of the gospel represent all people who are fragile, with internal conflicts, their faith is limited, and their illusion and hope are asleep, so when pain comes and tragedy comes to their lives, they are mentally blocked, they are dominated by anger, and this, takes away the possibility of learning and listening, because only arises from the deepest hurt heart, a claim: if you had been here, we would not be suffering, we would not be Living this conflict or this time of tragedy; my life would be different, I would be a better person, I would have the best family, this disease would not have been so severe, If you had been here … is the reaction of the human being when faced with a problem, but Jesus responds, as he did with the two sisters: If you believe, you will see the Glory of God: this reminds me  a song in Spanish where the person says: Why did you abandoned me when I needed you most and Jesus responds: Son, I love you and remember, in the moments of test and suffering, it was I who cared for you.

Go out of the tomb means that we are dissatisfied and something Special covers us, enlightens us and it is when it makes us react and we begin the search and we all effort to solve, this is how we learn to know each other and we realize who are stronger, who are more sentimental, more sensitive, fragile and more needy, And that’s when we have the opportunity to unite us, and we show solidarity for the good of all and we begin to share the skills, Initiatives and creatives in decisions that guide us love to grow together.  And you know one thing? What does not kill you, renews you, what does not destroy you makes you stronger and  we learn to be more creative, Comprehensive and patient, because The bad experiences of life become tools of growth, strength and learning if we want.

Let us look at each person, each person is a gift of God, created with love, with wisdom and intelligence, therefore, we cannot let go a valuable opportunity, which is to discover the ability, potential and creativity that each one has. Because each person learns and grows Making his own way With the assistance of God,of course, letting yourself be helped by others as well, but discerning every step, every moment and unexpected situation in your life, because, when the way is done by others, then we do not yet know what it means to fight, overcome or simply handle a problem, because others have suffered, surrendered, made mistake or even strengthened themselves with God’s help.

I want to conclude with the text of the Prophet Ezekiel: Ezekiel has had the vision of dry bones that take flesh, are organized and revived. The people of God are exiled in Babylon, the tomb of the peoples, away from the earth and the relationship with God that gave meaning to their history. It is a people without freedom and without life of its own: a people dead and without destiny. In this circumstance the promise of God is made present: he will remove the slab from that tomb so that the people rise, organize and walk revitalized by the Spirit of the Lord. It will be a new historical liberation, a new exodus, a new election. As  community of All Saints’ we are already experiencing this new life, we are organizing, motivating with each other, with the strength of the spirit of God, After moments of test, instability, confusion and desert we are alive. In this Lenten season, we have discovered that we cannot stay and settle in the desert of trial, we must continuing walking together, because together we can reach the Promised Land, together we can celebrate the Passover, Because we want everyone to participate in the resurrection in our community, We do not want anyone to become dehydrated and die in the desert. We all want to live in a community that is a paradise and a permanent Easter of resurrection of love, peace, harmony, unity and inclusiveness in the diversity. Amen.

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