Reflections - April 2, 2017

“Lazarus, come out!  The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.  So Jesus said to them, Untie him and let him go.” Jn. 11:43-44.
 
At the end of Lent the Gospel of John presents us with the last sign and miracle of Jesus before His Passion, Death, and Resurrection.
 
It is important to reflect on who was this family.  Martha, Lazarus, and Mary had a deep friendship with Jesus.  It was in their house where Jesus rested in an atmosphere of faith.  It was in one of the Teacher’s visit that Martha said:  “Lord, tell my sister to help me”.  Familiarity existed, however, as what happens to all mortals sickness visited them and Lazarus, His friend, dies.  The sisters feel that everything changes when the man of the house dies and they experience helplessness in a patriarchal society.  In our society there exists many women that suffer emotional, psychological and economical changes in the absence of the provider of the home and their children suffer as well.
 
In an environment of pain and loneliness the sisters, Martha and Mary, send for Jesus.  What did they want?   They may have wanted consolation and, if possible, for Jesus to arrive on time to heal Lazarus of his illness.  Perhaps even Lazarus, himself, requested Jesus, his friend, to visit.  From hope and life, however, grows hopelessness when Jesus does not arrive in time to save Lazarus and he dies.  Sometimes God’s time, which is eternal, is not our time, which is demanding and limited.
 
When Jesus arrives:  “Lazarus had already in the tomb for four days”.
 
In the context of pain and death Jesus presents himself as the only hope of life.  Martha expresses her feelings by saying:  “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”  Martha does not lose her faith in the midst of her suffering.  “I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.”  Jesus said to 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 Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world”.  And Jesus raised his eyes and said:  “Father, I thank you for hearing me”.  He then cried out in a loud voice: “Lazarus, come out!”  The decomposed body of Lazarus comes back to life.
 
Let us ask the Lord in the these coming days of Holy Week, which liberates us from the bondage of sin, to allow us to live as children of God.  Lazarus’ sign is the sign of Jesus who died on the cross for our sins and resurrected to give us eternal life and hope of Christian faith.