John 11: 3-7; 17; 20-27; 33-45

The Death of Lazarus

A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the same Mary who massaged the Lord’s feet with aromatic oils and then wiped them with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.”

When Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.”

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days. After the two days, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

When Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead. Bethany was near Jerusalem, only a couple of miles away, and many of the Jews were visiting Martha and Mary, sympathizing with them over their brother. Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house.

When Jesus finally got there, he found Lazarus already four days dead. Bethany was near Jerusalem, only a couple of miles away, and many of the Jews were visiting Martha and Mary, sympathizing with them over their brother. Martha heard Jesus was coming and went out to meet him. Mary remained in the house.

Martha said, “Master, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask God he will give you.”

Jesus said, “Your brother will be raised up.”

Martha replied, “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time.”

“You don’t have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?”

 “Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world.”

Reflection

 

Death is an inescapability to all humans. This is because we are all mortals. However, for us Christians, death is not the end of everything. Death changes life and does not end it. We live in the Lord and this is our faith. The resurrection of the dead is a spiritual rising and coming back to life, when a person will rise from the dead and live with the Lord in heaven. It is the promise given to the faithful.

Like Lazarus, we should also die to our old self and our old attitudes - fear, anger, lost, perplexity, greedy, jealousy etc. Jesus asks us to trust him, as he trusts in the Father. We should live in Christ and grow in our faith and love. Our dying in Christ will also lead to us rising with Him through our faith, just as Martha and Mary testified when Jesus met them: "We believe in you, because you have the words of eternal life. We believe in you, we hope in the gift of life after life, an authentic and full life in your kingdom of light and peace."

Because of our faith, we will rise in dignity, in our full humanity and divinity because we are in the Lord. Let us put all our trust in the God of life who brought us life and will continue to give us life.  Let us be sources of life that is nourishing and nurturing to our families, friends, and communities.

In this Lenten season, let us pause and pray, reflect and ask ourselves:

  • Am I willing and ready to “die” to my old self (egoistic, arrogant, proud)?

  • Am I willing to be purged and purified of my negative characteristics and attitudes in the living flame of the love of God?

  • Do I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting?

  • Am I ready to face my God and live with Him?

Br Gregory  Echegwo SDB 

Prayer

Oh Merciful Father!

 

You willed that your Son Jesus Christ should raise Lazarus from the dead.

 

Grant us the grace to deny ourselves the old way of living and to purify our minds and hearts to love you and our neighbours, so on that last day, we shall be united with you in the eternal life, where you reign without end.

 

We make our prayers through Jesus Christ our Lord

 

AMEN.