FutureChurch celebrates the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Christine Schenk, CSJ, co-founder and executive director emerita of FutureChurch, was our presider and offered these opening remarks:
John’s Gospel frequently highlights the discipleship of women — the Samaritan woman, Martha, and commissioning of Mary of Magdala as the Apostle to the Apostles. Today, Jesus' own grief over Lazaarus' death finds expression only after he sees the grief of his dear friend Mary of Bethany—“and Jesus wept.” This text witnesses that suffering invites a certain solidarity which can help alleviate our grief. Our incarnate God in Jesus suffers in solidarity with us—especially now through the fear and pain evoked by this pandemic. And just a surely as there is suffering, so too will there be joy once we pass through it. A joy which comes from belief in a suffering God who does not abandon us in our own time of suffering and death—but leads us to new life in spite of everything.