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5th Sunday of Lent reflection

And Jesus wept. Connecting with the low of addiction, the powerlessness over food, the craziness of living an unfit lifestyle, the set backs of injury or illness, we may have cried at one point. Some of us on the other end of the journey of weight loss still experience sorrow, as the reminders of loose skin or the lived body experience has not yet caught up to us. As men we're taught not to cry, but we know that we still feel the pain. Maybe the frustration has caused us to retreat into isolation. Maybe there's a stench in that isolation, a feeling of uncleanliness or a lifestyle that is stagnant. Like Lazarus, we are bound and chained, and need that word of life given to us by Jesus and his church. Perhaps we've blamed him and his church like Martha: "Lord, if you had been here, I wouldn't have gone off the deep end in my unhealthy lifestyle." That's why we come back to the figure of Christ weeping at the tomb of his friend. Jesus desires this new life in us, his friends and priests. There will be resurrection if we trust him and stop blaming ourselves, him, and his church. That's also why this ministry of fraternal outreach exists. The compassion Jesus shows must be something that we show each other on this journey, no matter what level of physical or spiritual fitness we are. The temptation to judge others must be overcome by the example of the one who weeps and speaks a word of life. Come out of the darkness! Eat clean, be fit, pray well! Fr Ryan