Daily Archives: March 9, 2008

Fifth Sunday of Lent

All about rising up, from the depths, from the grave, today.

Much of the singing comes from Psalm 130. As is usual every Sunday in Lent, we don’t have an entrance hymn; rather, we have a chant. Specifically it’s the Processional Psalm for Lent by Richard Proulx. It’s definitely Psalm 130, but Proulx doesn’t use the New American Bible, or at least not any version I’m familiar with. Neither is it King James, although it’s much closer:

Out of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice.
O let thine ears consider well
the voice of my complaint.

These first few lines in fact match up with the Book of Common Prayer, of all things. But after this the lyrics diverge. The Book of Common Prayer has, “If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it?”Proulx uses iniquities (instead of what is done amiss) and who shall stand (rather than who may abide it).

The responsorial Psalm today is also 130. But, again, not strictly from the NAB. It’s the Lectionary version: “Let your ears be attentive to my voice in supplication.” Just for the record, our Bible’s got it as, “May your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.”

And just for kicks, during communion we sing a phrase from James Biery, Whoever is alive, and the choir sings verses, from good old 130.

The first reading is from Ezekiel.

Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.

Up from the depths indeed.

So of course the Gospel of St. John tells us today of Lazarus. And just like two weeks ago, when Jesus told the woman at the well, and just like last week, when he told the man blind from birth, this week Jesus tells Martha that he is indeed the Christ.

Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

But what’s most amazing about this whole story is when Jesus becomes “perturbed and deeply troubled.” Why is that, I wonder. Does he or doesn’t he know what he’s doing?

But then, this chapter in St. John relates how close these events are to Passover. It’s almost time for the Passion. So maybe that’s why. So maybe therefore, the most moving passage in all the New Testament:

When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.